Friday, December 9, 2011
Stars get off to bumpy start on road trip
By Mark Stepneski
The Dallas Stars were hoping for a strong start to their five-game road trip, but they didn’t get it in San Jose Thursday night as they fell 5-2 to the San Jose Sharks.
The Stars fell behind 2-0 in the first 82 seconds of the game, rallied to tie but then the Sharks blew the game open with three quick goals in the second half of the second period.
“They poured it to us and put bodies in front. They were going hard to the net,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow, who had a goal and assist in his return from a back injury. “When you throw pucks at the net and you’ve got people banging and crashing, good things happen. We didn’t do it enough and they did.”
The Stars were outshot 36-20 in the game, including 26-10 over the final 40 minutes. Andrew Raycroft played the first two periods and stopped 20 of 25 shots. Richard Bachman, making his second NHL appearance, played the third period and made 11 saves on 11 shots.
“I thought he was real clean in the third,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said of Bachman. “It’s not easy to come into those situations. They had some good chances and he made some saves. We’ll have a decision to make tomorrow on who is going to start in LA. We’ll take a look at everything and make our decision.”
The loss was the fifth in the last six road games for the Stars, who are now 6-7-0 away from home this season.
“We’re going to come back to work tomorrow and do our best to forget about this game,” said Morrow. “We talked about it before we left Dallas that we’re going to take each game individually and try not to look ahead. We’re going to let this one sink in, be [ticked] off for the night and come back to work tomorrow.
The Stars got off to a slow start, falling behind 2-0 in the first 1:22 of the game. After a Mike Ribeiro turnover in the San Jose zone, Sharks forward Ryane Clowe set up Logan Couture, who scored from the slot off the rush 1:07 into the game.
Just 15 seconds later the Sharks made it 2-0 when Andrew Raycroft couldn’t handle the rebound of a Justin Braun point shot and Jamie McGinn scored into an open net.
The Stars cut the lead to 2-1 when a Morrow shot from the right boards deflected off Mike Ribeiro and into the net at 13:37 of the first.
The Stars tied it at 6:30 of the second when Ribeiro sent a cross-ice pass to Morrow, who scored off a one-timer from the right circle with the Stars on the power play.
But San Jose rattled off three goals in a 6:04 span of the second to break the game open. Ryane Clowe scored off the rebound of a Joe Thornton wrap-around at the 11:53 of the second. After a Thornton faceoff win, Brad Winchester tipped home a Brent Burns point shot at the 13:48. After a Jamie Benn turnover in his own zone, Torrey Mitchell scored from the right circle with 2:03 left in the third.
“I didn’t think we played too bad,” Gulutzan said. “We got off to a rough start in the first, but we got one back late and tied it up. I didn’t mind our game up to (the third goal). After that I thought we lost our luster. I wish we could have mustered more in the third. They were hungry team tonight. We have to be better than that.”
*Stars defenseman Mark Fistric served the first game of a three-game suspension for a hit on New York Islanders forward Nino Niederreiter.
*Stars captain Brenden Morrow returned after missing six games with a back injury.
*Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski returned after missing eleven games with a broken thumb.
*Stars defenseman Trevor Daley returned after missing three games with a back injury.
*Adam Pardy and Toby Petersen were healthy scratches for Dallas.