- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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The Dallas Stars fell to 1-3-2 in their last six games after losing 3-2 to the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center Sunday night. The loss left the Stars three points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 23 games to go. The Stars are now 0-9-2 in the second game of back-to-backs this season. Michael Ryder and Alex Goligoski scored for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen, making his ninth straight start, stopped 18 of 21 shots.
The Stars opened the scoring at 6:49 of the first period. Mike Ribeiro came out from behind the Nashville net and got the puck to Michael Ryder, who beat Predators goalie Pekka Rinne with a shot from the slot.
Nashville got the first power play of the game with 51 seconds left in the period, and scored when Shea Weber put a rebound past Kari Lehtonen with just 0.2 seconds left on the clock.
The Predators appeared to have taken a 3-1 lead with 10:08 left in the second period, but the goal was reviewed and waved off after it was determined that Predators forward Matt Halischuk directed the puck into the net with his glove.
Nashville did make it a 3-1 game with 3:55 left in the period when Colin Wilson scored off a backhand shot from the slot.
Both teams had five shots in the period and Nashville had a 15-13 advantage through the first 40 minutes.
The Stars juggled lines in the third period. Adam Burish moved to a line with Mike Ribeiro and Michael Ryder. Loui Eriksson moved to a line with Tom Wandell and Steve Ott. Tomas Vincour moved to the fourth line with Ryan Garbutt and Jake Dowell.
The Stars came out with a lot of pressure to start the period. Rinne came up with a nice stop on a redirection by Vincour and Garbutt hit a post in the first six minutes of the period.
The Stars cut the Nashville lead to 3-2 with 4:49 remaining when Alex Goligoski beat Rinne with a shot from the right boards.
The Stars got their first power play with 2:05 left in regulation when Hal Gil was called for tripping Stars forward Michael Ryder. The Stars pulled Lehtonen with a little more than a minute to go for a six-on-four advantage, but couldn’t score and Nashville held on for the 3-2 victory.
Injured: Benn (leg), Souray (foot), Morrow (shoulder/neck)