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Monday, March 22, 2010
Stars' shootout woes hard to figure

By Dennis Hall

Stars coach Marc Crawford has no easy answers for the team's shootout struggles. After Sunday's 3-2 shootout loss to Phoenix, the Stars are now 5-10 in shootouts. Before this season, Dallas was 32-13 all time in shootouts.

Crawford's solution? Win earlier.

"The game's not about the shootout," Crawford said. "It gets too much attention. The game's about regulation and overtime. You've got to better than them there."

But just think: If the Stars were as dominant in the shootout as they were in the past, maybe they'd have a 10-5 record this season. That would give them five extra points, and they'd be only three points behind Detroit for the final playoff spot.

The biggest surprises this season have been Mike Ribeiro and Brad Richards. Ribeiro is 1-for-12 in shootouts this season after going 12-for-26 in previous seasons. Richards scored in Sunday's shootout to improve to 4-for-14. Before this year, he was 16-for-32. Loui Eriksson has been the Stars' most effective shootout participant, and he's only 3-for-9.

"It's part of the game," Stephane Robidas said. "When you struggle like that in shootouts, the best thing to do is win in regulation."