Thursday, March 15, 2012
Stars' streak ends in Winnipeg
By Mark Stepneski
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said he and his staff had a sense that when the team’s current hot streak came to an end it would do so with a thud, and so it did in Winnipeg on Wednesday night. The Jets beat the Stars 5-2, ending Dallas’ winnings steak at six games and its points streak at 11 games.
“These things usually come down pretty hard and take wind out of you a little bit and maybe wake you up,” said Gulutzan. “I’d be lying to you if I said we didn’t talk about this as a coaching group here, that these things usually end with a thud and it did tonight.”
The Jets, who hadn’t played since the weekend, came out strong, took a 1-0 lead after one period and then scored four unanswered goals in the second period to build a 5-0 lead over the Stars, who had played the previous night in Minnesota. The Stars fell to 1-10-2 in the second games of back-to-backs this season.
”I thought our effort wasn’t up to par, wasn’t where it needed to be,” Gulutzan said. “We knew they were going to come out hard and coming out of that first, down 1-0, I thought we were fine. We just didn’t have a lot of resolve in the second. They got some goals there and we couldn’t stop the flood.”
The Stars, who had been on a 10-0-1 run, suffered their first regulation loss since February 19, when they lost 3-2 to Nashville. Their lead in the Pacific Division fell to two points over Phoenix, a 5-4 winner at Vancouver Wednesday night.
“We beat ourselves. We didn’t play well. We turned pucks over. We let them come into the zone way too easy,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “They got a good start, scored the first goal and got the crowd into the game. We didn’t play a simple game like we’ve been doing in the past 11 to 12 games. We’ve just got to go back to the basics.”
The Jets scored 2:21 into the game when former Star Antti Miettinen won a puck battle in the corner and set up Nik Antropov, who beat Stars goalie Richard Bachman with a shot from the left faceoff circle.
Winnipeg extended the lead to 2-0 just 1:19 into the second. After an Alexander Burmistrov shot rebounded off Bachman’s mask, Evander Kane banged home the rebound.
Vancouver then got goals 47 seconds apart from Andrew Ladd and Eric Fehr later in the period to make it a 4-0 game. Dustin Byfuglien’s power play goal late in the period extended the lead to 5-0.
The Stars got two goals from Loui Eriksson, who scored late in the second and again in the third to make it a 5-2 final.
“It wasn’t our best game. We turned the puck over too many times. We didn’t play the game we’ve been playing lately,” said Eriksson. “We have to step up and play a better game in front of (Richard) Bachman. It’s not easy for him to save all those clear chances they had today.”
There were some fireworks towards the end of the game that included a scrum in front of Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec and then Jets forward Tanner Glass going after Stars forward Adam Burish, who threw Glass’ glove into the stands.
Glass picked up a roughing minor and ten minute misconduct, while Burish received an unsportsmanlike conduct minor and game misconduct.
“He threw my glove in the stands,” Glass said. “I just couldn’t let that go.”
*Stars defenseman Philip Larsen left the game with a lower body injury. He is listed as day-to-day.
*Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray (lower body) and right wing Radek Dvorak (ankle) did not play Wednesday. They are out for Friday as well, according to Stars coach Glen Gulutzan.
*Toby Petersen, Jake Dowell and Jordie Benn were the scratches for Dallas.
*The Stars did not have a power play in a game for the third time this season.
*The Stars surrendered a five-on-four power play goal for the first time since February 19.