Stars fall to Predators, 4-2
March, 26, 2011
By Mark Stepneski | ESPNDallas.com
The Dallas Stars’ winless streak hit three games (0-1-2) and they fell to 2-3-3 in their last eight games with a 4-2 loss at Nashville on Saturday night.
The loss left the Stars in ninth place in the Western Conference for the time being. Nashville won its sixth straight game and moved six points ahead of the Stars in the standings. Los Angeles, a winner earlier in the day, also moved six points ahead of Dallas.
Alex Goligoski and Brenden Morrow scored for the Stars. Mike Ribeiro had two assists. Kari Lehtonen stopped 28 shots.
“Our work ethic was there tonight. We had guys battling. We made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized on a couple of those plays. It was a one-goal game. It was exactly what we thought it was going to be, we just ended up on the wrong side of it. We have to keep persevering and we will.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford
“The last few games has been execution. Our battle level is there. We’re trying to do everything for the good of the group, it is just execution, over-trying or whatever it is. I’ve said it before, there’s lots of hockey. Win or lose tonight, we weren’t in the playoffs. We know that this road trip is a huge part of the season and we’re going to keep battling.” – Stars center Brad Richards
*The Stars are 8-11-5 since the All-Star break.
*The Predators are 14-8-4 since the All-Star break.
*The Stars had a five-game points streak on the road snapped.
*The Stars and Predators split the season series with each team picking up four points.
*Alex Goligoski has scored a goal in three straight games.
*Goligoski played 31:54 in the game.
*Mike Ribeiro had two assists in the game and now has 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) in the last nine games.
*The Stars won 25 of 58 faceoffs (43%).
The Stars opened the scoring at the 8:49 mark by cashing in on their first power play chance of the game. After some good work along the boards by Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro, Loui Eriksson sent a cross-ice pass to Alex Goligoski, who scored from the bottom of the right faceoff circle.
The Predators countered with an even strength goal at the 14:26 mark. After the Stars couldn’t clear their zone, Martin Erat centered the puck from behind the net and David Legwand banged it past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen to make it a 1-1 game.
Krys Barch was a healthy scratch for Dallas. Adam Burish (leg), Nicklas Grossman (knee), Karlis Skrastins (leg laceration) and Brian Sutherby (back) remained out with injuries.
The Predators pushed hard early in the second, the Stars were a mess in their own zone and Nashville took a 2-1 lead at the 2:33 mark when Mike Fisher scored off a blast from the right faceoff circle.
The Stars pulled even when Brenden Morrow’s centering pass from behind the goal line hit a Nashville stick, Predators goalie Pekka Rinne’s head and then dropped into the net to make it a 2-2 game at the 4:07 mark.
A few minutes later Rinne made a nice save a Brandon Segal point blank to keep it a 2-2 game.
Nashville took the lead again at the 9:57 mark when the Stars turned over the puck in their own end, Ryan Suter put a shot on net and Fisher backhanded the rebound into the net.
Both teams had power play chances in the first half of the period, but neither could take advantage.
The Stars got their big chance to tie with 2:00 left when Suter took hooking penalty, but the Stars could cash in on the chance. They pulled Kari Lehtonen for the extra attacker and Legwand scored into the empty net with four seconds remaining to make it a 4-2 final.
Injured: Grossman (knee), Skrastins (leg), Burish (leg), Sutherby (back)
Power play units
Penalty kill units