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Thursday, April 5, 2012
Stars fall to Predators, eliminated from playoff race

By Mark Stepneski



The Dallas Stars’ bid for a playoff spot ended Thursday night with a 2-0 loss at Nashville. The Predators broke a scoreless tie with 15:32 left in the game and then sealed with the win with another goal with 2:00 remaining.

The loss by Dallas clinched playoff spots for Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Jose.

The Stars have now missed the playoffs four straight seasons.

Dallas was shut out for the second time in the last three game and for the seventh time this season.

The Stars were 0-4 on the power play and 2-2 on the penalty kill in the game.

Nashville moved ahead of Detroit, a 2-1 loser to New Jersey Thursday, for the fourth seed in the Western Conference.

First period

The shots were 9-8 in favor of Nashville in the scoreless first period.

The Stars had the only power play of the period and changed things up, going with a first unit of four forwards (Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn, Michael Ryder and Mike Ribeiro) and one defenseman (Stephane) Robidas.

Second period

Shots were 8-8 in the second period and both teams had one power play chance, but neither could take advantage.

The Stars came closest to scoring. Defenseman Trevor Daley put a shot on net off the rush that got through Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, but it hit the post and stayed out of the net.

The Stars lost defenseman Mark Fistric in the period. The team said he was out for the rest of the game with a lower body injury.

Third period

The Predators got the first goal of the game with 15:32 left when Francis Bouillon scored on the rebound of a Patric Hornqvist wrap-around.

Nashville sealed the win when Hornqvist got to the rebound of a Brandon Yip shot and whipped it past Kari Lehtonen with exactly 2:00 left in the game.

The Stars pulled Lehtonen with just under two minutes left for the extra attacker, but couldn’t get a puck past Rinne.

Stars lineup

Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson
Ott-Benn-Ryder
Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak
Garbutt-Wandell-Burish

Souray-Robidas
Fistric-Daley
Goligoski-Larsen

Lehtonen (starter)
Bachman

Scratched: Dowell, Petersen, R. Smith, Vincour, Pardy