Saturday, April 2, 2011
Stars fall 3-1 to Kings
By Mark Stepneski
The Dallas Stars playoff chances took a devastating blow with a 3-1 loss in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon. The Stars, who are winless in their last six games (0-3-3), are five points out of a playoff spot with five games remaining. Brad Richards scored the lone goal for the Stars, who have scored just nine goals over their last six games. Kari Lehtonen stopped 29 of 31 shots.
“We put both goals in our net tonight. That puck luck, or whatever you want to call it, has not been going our way. All you can do is keep persevering. If we continue to work hard and continue to do those things, hopefully it will change. We started off the season with five wins in six games and we have to finish off the season with five wins. We’re still alive here, we’re still kicking. You just have to keep believing that your luck is going to change. That was a very even game. They got the break, we didn’t. End of story.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford
“It’s a cliché, but we got to work harder and the breaks with come. We felt pretty confident as the game went along and going into the third with a tie game, it was a game we could get. We just didn’t have that extra step to get to any of those loose pucks.” – Stars captain Brenden Morrow
*The Stars are 9-15-6 in their last 30 games, including 8-13-6 since the All-Star break.
*The Stars have scored 9 goals during their six game winless streak (1.5 per game).
*The Stars are 8-10-5 against the Pacific Division this season.
*The Stars did not have a power play chance in a game for the first time this season.
*The Stars were not shorthanded in a game for the first time this season.
*Saturday’s game marked the first time that neither team had a power play chance in an NHL game since April 2, 2010 (Chicago at New Jersey).
There were no penalties, no power plays and both teams had 12 shots on goal in the first 20 minutes.
Stars coach Marc Crawford did some line juggling, moving Jamie Benn to a line with Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson. Brandon Segal, who was back in the lineup, played on the right wing with Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro.
Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins returned after missing four games with a leg laceration. Adam Burish, Nicklas Grossman and Brian Sutherby remain out with injuries. Brad Lukowich and Krys Barch were scratches.
The Kings took the lead at the 4:15 mark of the second when defenseman Willie Mitchell’s shot from the right point deflected off forward Wayne Simmonds, got through Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen and went in off the stick of defenseman Mark Fistric as he tried to sweep it out of the net.
But the Stars answered 1:13 later when Brad Richards’s shot from the right circle off the rush slipped through Kings goalie Jonathan Quick to make it a 1-1 game.
There were no power plays in the second period, but with nine seconds left the game’s first penalties were called as Stars center Mike Ribeiro and Kings forward Brad Richardson were given roughing minors.
Kings defenseman Matt Greene scored the lone goal of the third period, sending a shot from the top of the right circle that deflected off the skate of Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski and into the net with 7:10 remaining.
The Stars pulled Lehtonen for an extra attacker, but Kings captain Dustin Brown sealed the win with an empty net goal with 7.4 seconds remaining.
There were no penalties in the third period, resulting in a game in which neither team received a power play.
Injured: Burish (leg), Grossman (knee), Sutherby (back)
Scratches: Barch, Lukowich
Power play units
No power plays
Penalty kill units
No penalty kills