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Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Devils hand Stars fifth straight loss

By Mark Stepneski

The Dallas Stars’ losing streak hit five games with a 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night at American Airlines Center. Nick Palmieiri’s power play goal with 5:37 left in the game was the game-winner for the Devils, who won for the eighth straight game and improved to 16-1-2 in their last 19 games overall. The Stars dropped to 1-8-1 since the All-Star break and 2-10-1 in their last 13 games overall. The Stars were 0-4 on the power play in the game. Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 of 23 shots.

Quotable

“We did a lot of good things, but we came up short. We really didn’t get the break that we needed but we are headed in the right direction and that’s the positive sign. We got Jamie Benn back and that made a big difference tonight. We’ve got other bodies coming back too soon and we’ve got to just keep plugging away. It was a tight game and there wasn’t much on either side. I thought we played a much better game defensively.” – Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas

“If we keep playing with that kind of intensity and that kind of commitment things will change for us. That’s always how it happens. It’s no consolation.  We’ve got to find a way to be five percent better or six or seven percent better. But it was certainly a good effort for our group tonight.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford

“I felt pretty comfortable out there. Couldn’t put one in there on the power play. That would have been nice and obviously they got one on theirs. Tough loss, but all the guys have been great. It’s a group that wants to win games and it’s always fun to be a part of that.” Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski, who made his debut with the team Tuesday night.

Notes

*The Stars were shutout for the fourth time this season.

*The Stars have scored two goals or fewer in nine of the last 12 games.

*The Stars were 0-4 on the power play Tuesday and are 0-9 on the PP over the last three games.

*The Stars have allowed four power play goals over the last four games and are 11-15 on the penalty kill during that stretch.

First period

The Stars had the better of the chances in the period, but Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg made some nice saves.

Alex Goligoski, acquired Monday from Pittsburg for James Neal and Matt Niskanen, made his Stars debut. He was paired with Stephane Robidas on Dallas’ first defense pairing and saw time on the Stars’ first power play unit.

Jamie Benn, back in the lineup after missing ten games with a shoulder injury, returned and centered a line with Loui Eriksson on the left wing and Tomas Vincour on the right.

Brad Richards (concussion-like symptoms), Nicklas Grossman (hip), Adam Burish (orbital bone) and Krys Barch (orbital bone) remain out for the Stars.

Second period

After two periods of play at American Airlines Center it is still scoreless between the Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils.

The Stars had a four-minute power play after Devils forward Patrik Elias took a double-minor for high sticking. The Stars had an early chance when Alex Goligoski set up Steve Ott on a breakaway, but Ott couldn’t get off a shot and the Stars ended up with no shots on the four-minute power play.

The Stars had another power play chance in the period and couldn’t take advantage. They are 0-4 on the power play in the game. New Jersey, had a power play chance in the first, and is 0-1 in the game.

The Stars had a great chance to break the scoreless tie with a little more than two minutes left, but Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov blocked a Brenden Morrow shot with New Jersey goalie Johan Hedberg out of position.

Third period

The Devils got three power play chances in the third period and cashed in on the third one to take a 1-0 lead. With Goligoski in the penalty for high sticking, Ilya Kovalchuk’s shot from the left point was deflected into the net by Nick Palmieri with 5:37 remaining in the game.

Stars lineup

Morrow-Ribeiro-Langenbrunner
Eriksson-Benn-Vincour
Ott-Wandell-Petersen
Sutherby-Gagnon-Williams

Goligoski-Robidas
Woywitka-Daley
Skrastins-Fistric

Lehtonen
Raycroft (backup)

Scratches:  None

Injured:  Richards (concussion-like symptoms), Grossman (hip), Burish (orbital bone), Barch (orbital bone), Sawada (shoulder)

Power play units

Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson-Goligoski-Robidas
Ott-Benn-Langenbrunner-Woywitka-Daley

Penalty kill units

Ott-Benn-Skrastins-Robidas
Ribeiro-Eriksson-Fistric-Daley
Wandell-Eriksson-Fistric-Daley
Ott-Petersen-Skrastins-Robidas
Ribeiro-Morrow-Skrastins-Robidas
Benn-Langenbrunner-Skrastins-Robidas