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Saturday, February 26, 2011
Stars rally to down Predators, 3-2

By Mark Stepneski

Alex Goligoski scored the game-tying goal with 13:58 left in the game and then set up Loui Eriksson’s game-winning power play goal with 3:42 remaining as the Dallas Stars rallied for a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center Saturday afternoon. Tom Wandell also scored for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen made 23 saves. The win – the second straight for the Stars – put them back into the top eight in the Western Conference.

Quotable

“It was important. I give our guys credit for digging in and finding a way. I thought we started the game the way we wanted to. We knew it was going to be a hard-fought, hard-skating battle. They play a style of game where they don’t beat themselves… It was a hard-fought two points.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford

“Third periods have generally been our best. We just let’s stick with it. If it takes 20 minutes or five minutes, we just need to believe that if we kept outworking them and outchancing them some of them would go in and that was the case. We got a lucky bounce on one and nice play by [Goligoski] on the other one.” – Stars captain Brenden Morrow.

“This is a huge win for us and to be in a playoff spot again. We battled hard and we know what’s at stake. It’s exactly what we needed.” – Stars center Tom Wandell

Notes

*The Stars have allowed just four goals over their last three games.

*The Stars won 36 of 64 (56 percent) faceoffs in the game. Steve Ott won 13 of 18 and Mike Ribeiro won 11 of 17.

*Tom Wandell scored his first goal since December 16. It was also his first point since December 16, ending a 24-game drought.

*Loui Eriksson scored his team-leading sixth game-winning goal of the season.

*Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski has one goal and two assists in his last two games.

First period

The Stars went on the power play 1:04 into the game, but couldn’t generate anything with the chance.  But the Stars did get some chances later in the period and Predators goalie Pekka Rinne was up to the task, stopping Jamie Benn’s point blank bid and then denying a great chance by Trevor Daley off the rush.

The Stars finally got on the board with 1:54 left in the period. Just after killing off Nashville’s first power play of the game, Tom Wandell scored on a two-on-one rush to give Dallas a 1-0 lead.

Kari Lehtonen made 12 saves in the period for the Stars.

Brian Sutherby was scratched among the forwards.

Second period

The Predators tied the game 5:00 into the second period. After help breaking up a play in his own end, Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter started the rush the other way and then finished it off by scoring on the rebound of his own shot to make it a 1-1 game.

The Predators took the lead at the 13:32 mark when Cody Franson put a shot on the net off the rush, creating a big rebound off Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen and a diving Colin Wilson put the rebound into the net to make it 2-1 Nashville.

The Stars went on a 1:35 five-on-three power play late in the period, but it turned into a four-on-three when Brenden Morrow took a holding penalty ten seconds into it. The Stars couldn’t score on the power plays, missing an excellent opportunity to tie.

The Stars had some great chances in the final seconds of the period to tie the game, but Pekka Rinne stopped Jamie Benn and then Jamie Langenbrunner’s bid on the rebound.

Third period

The Stars tied the game at the 6:02 mark when an Alex Goligoski shot from the right point deflected off the shin of Predators defenseman Jonathan Blum and bounced past Rinne.

The Stars took the lead with 3:42 remaining on a power play goal. After Nashville’s Joel Ward fanned on a two-on-one shorthanded chance, Goligoski grabbed the puck, started the rush and finished off the play by setting up Loui Eriksson, who redirected the puck into the net.

Stars lineup

Morrow-Ribeiro-Benn
Eriksson-Benn-Vincour
Ott-Burish-Langenbrunner
Barch-Wandell-Petersen
Petersen-Wandell-Williams

Goligoski-Robidas
Woywitka-Daley
Skrastins-Fistric

Lehtonen
Raycroft (backup)

Scratches: Sutherby

Injured:  Richards (concussion-like symptoms), Grossman (hip)

Power play units

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

Penalty kill units

Benn-Ott-Skrastins-Robidas
Burish-Petersen-Fistric-Goligoski
Wandell-Eriksson-Skrastins-Robidas