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Friday, February 10, 2012
Stars lose 2-0 lead, fall 3-2 in shootout

By Mark Stepneski

The Dallas Stars squandered a 2-0 third period lead and fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Buffalo Sabres Friday night. The Stars fell to 0-8-2 in the second games of back-to-back this season. The Stars got a brilliant performance from goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 30 of 32 shots in the game. Michael Ryder and Tomas Vincour scored goals for the Stars, who pulled to within one point of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

First period

The Stars got the game’s first power play late in the first period when Buffalo’s Cody McCormick took a roughing penalty, and they took advantage. Alex Goligoski’s shot from the left point was tipped into the net by Michael Ryder with 2:07 left in the period.

Kari Lehtonen was sharp in goal for the Stars, stopping seven shots including a nice glove stop on Jason Pominville with 35 seconds left in the period.

Second period

Kari Lehtonen came up big in the second period for the Stars, stopping all nine shots he faced to help the Stars preserve their 1-0 lead.

With Buffalo on its first power play of the game, Lehtonen made back-to-back saves on Drew Stafford including a sharp glove save on Stafford’s second chance from point blank range.

Buffalo came close to tying the game with just under five minutes left in the period, but Christian Ehrhoff’s shot from the left circle rang off the post.

The Stars outshot the Sabres 11-9 in the period and had a 21-16 advantage through two periods.

Third period

The Stars extended their lead to 2-0 at the 4:17 of the mark of the third. Steve Ott knocked Ehrhoff off the puck behind the Buffalo net and Jamie Benn then centered the puck to Tomas Vincour, who scored from close range to make it a 2-0 game.

But the Sabres got the on the board less than a minute later, cashing in on their second power play of the game. Jason Pominville’s centering pass was redirected into the net by Thomas Vanek at the 5:07 mark.

Buffalo pulled goalie Ryan Miller with a little more than a minute to go for the extra attacker and tied the game with 38.3 seconds left when Derek Roy scored off the rebound of Tyler Myers shot.

The Sabres outshot the Stars 13-3 in the third period.

OT/Shootout

Lehtonen got the game to a shootout with a spectacular pad save on a wide open Vanek’s point blank shot with two seconds remaining in four-on-four overtime.

The shootout went five rounds and the Sabres won it 2-1 on goals by Brad Boyes and Nathan Gerbe. Jamie Benn scored the only goal for the Stars.

Stars lineup

Benn-Ott-Vincour
Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak
Dowell-Wandell-Burish

Grossman-Daley
Goligoski-Robidas
Fistric-Larsen

Lehtonen (starter)
Bachman

Injured: Souray (foot), Morrow (neck/shoulder)
Scratched: Pardy, Petersen