Dallas Stars: Pascal Dupuis

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars played another strong game against a top team Wednesday night, but this time they couldn’t come with two points and had to settle for one, falling 4-3 in a shootout to Pittsburgh at American Airlines Center.

“I thought it was a really good hockey game,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Both teams played hard and well. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the extra point.”

Wednesday’s game came after the Stars’ 3-2 overtime victory over Western Conference leading Vancouver on Sunday. That’s two straight games against quality opponents where the Stars went toe-to-toe with top teams, played very well and came away with points.

“That’s a good sign for our hockey club,” Gulutzan said. “I think we outshot both opponents here and thought the games were pretty even, both games. It’s an important thing for our psyche moving forward and into this last month of March or our last 18 games now.”

Wednesday’s loss ended the Stars’ winning streak at four games, but the point gave them a one point lead over Los Angeles and Colorado in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

It was a playoff atmosphere Wednesday night as the game saw several momentum shifts over the course of 65 minutes of play plus the shootout.

“The building, the fans were really into it, you could feel it. It was kind of a back-and-forth game with the score and it was a fun game to be a part of there,” said Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski. “We couldn’t pull it out in the end, but we’ll take our point and move on.”

The Stars took a 1-0 lead with 4:35 left in the first period when Steve Ott set up Jamie Benn, who scored in his first game back after missing the previous six contests due to a leg injury.

“It was just hard work by my linemates and Otter made a good pass to find me in the slot and I just tried to get it off and it went good,” Benn said. “It felt good to get back out there with the guys.”

The Penguins tied it 1-1 with 1:07 left in the first. Pascal Dupuis sent a long pass to Steve Sullivan, who scored on a breakaway.

The two teams appeared to be headed to a scoreless second period, but the Stars scored off the rush with 12.2 seconds left in the period to take a 2-1 lead. Loui Eriksson set up Sheldon Souray, who beat Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with a shot from the slot.

The Stars’ penalty kill came up big in the second period, stopping three Pittsburgh power plays. The Stars were 5-5 on the penalty kill for the game.

“PK was real good, real good. We needed that from that group,” said Gulutzan. “Against one of the better power plays and a real hot player I thought our PK was up to the test.”

The Penguins got goals from Craig Adams and Chris Kunitz 39 seconds apart early in the third to take a 3-2 lead, but the Stars bounced a little more than three minutes later when Eriksson made a pretty cross-crease pass to Michael Ryder, who scored with 12:37 remaining to tie the game at 3-3.

The Stars had 1:46 of power play in the overtime period, but couldn't take advantage. Pittsburgh won the shootout 3-2, getting goals from James Neal, Kunitz and Dupuis, while Eriksson and Benn scored for the Stars.

"I thought we played pretty good," said Benn. "I think we outplayed them 5-on-5, we just took too many penalties and we had our chance to win there in overtime on the power play and didn’t get it done."

The win was the fourth straight for the Penguins, who are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

"They’re a tough team. They definitely played a hard game," Penguins center Jordan Staal said of the Stars. "We were down for a while there and our power play wasn’t quite getting us the goals. We got a couple of big even strength goals and found a way to win it.”


*The Stars ended the month of February with an 8-5-3 record.

*The Stars were 5-5 on the penalty kill and 0-4 on the power play.

*Pittsburgh lost defenseman Kris Letang after he was hit high by Stars forward Eric Nystrom, who was given a roughing minor on the play.

*Pittsburgh also lost forward Steve Sullivan to a lower body injury during the game.

*Adam Pardy and Toby Petersen were healthy scratches for Dallas.

*Wednesday night’s attendance was 17,455.

Stars fall to Penguins in shootout, 4-3

February, 29, 2012
The Dallas Stars' four-game winning streak came to an end with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday night at American Airlines Center. Jamie Benn, Sheldon Souray and Michael Ryder scored goals for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 26 of 29 shots and one of four in the shootout. The Stars, who remain in eighth place in the Western Conference, finished February with an 8-5-3 record.

First period

The Stars scored first with 4:35 left in the first when Steve Ott got to the rebound of an Adam Burish shot and set up Jamie Benn, who beat Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with a shot from the slot.

The Penguins tied it 1:07 before the first intermission when Pascal Dupuis set up Steve Sullivan on a breakaway and Sullivan beat Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen with a backhand shot.

Pittsburgh lost defenseman Kris Letang midway through the first period when he was hit high by Stars forward Eric Nystrom. The Penguins announced that Letang would not return with an upper body injury. Nystrom was given a minor for roughing.

The Stars’ penalty kill came up big in the period, going 2-2 against the Pittsburgh power play. The Stars had one power play chance, but couldn’t cash in.

Second period

The Penguins got their third power play early in the second period, and Fleury made a sharp glove save on Vernon Fiddler’s shorthanded breakaway. The Penguins came close to score on the power play, but an Evgeni Malkin backhand from a sharp angle hit the crossbar.

The Penguins got a fourth power play at the 4:32 mark of the second period, but the Stars were able to kill that one off and it remained a 1-1 game.

Pittsburgh got a fifth power play 8:40 into the second period, but again the Stars killed it off.

The Stars put together an impressive couple of shifts to keep Pittsburgh pinned in its own end and ended up drawing its second power play of the night, but the Stars couldn’t take advantage.

Fleury came up with another big save late in the period, stopping Adam Burish on a two-on-one with 1:08 left in the period.

But the Stars took a 2-1 lead with 12.2 seconds remaining with a goal off the rush. Loui Eriksson set up Sheldon Souray, who beat Fleury with a shot from the slot.

The Penguins announced in the second intermission that forward Steve Sullivan was out for the rest of the game with a lower body injury

Third period

The Penguins tied the game 3:33 into the third period. Jordan Staal got the puck along the right boards, skated into the slot and his shot was tipped past Lehtonen by Craig Adams.

The Penguins took the lead 39 seconds later when Paul Martin’s shot from the right point was deflected into the net by Chris Kunitz.

Less than a minute later the Stars had a chance to tie, but Fleury stopped Loui Eriksson’s breakaway bid.

The Stars did get the equalizer at the 7:23 mark when Eriksson drove the net and lifted a pass over the crease to Michael Ryder, who tapped it into the net to tie the game at 3-3.

The Stars went on their third power play with 11:36 after Malkin and Nystrom got in a scrum and Malkin picked up an extra roughing minor. The Stars had a great chance, but Fleury, while on down in the crease, stopped a close range bid by Ribeiro.

The Stars went on their fourth power play with 14 seconds remaining in regulation. The Stars didn’t score and the power play carried over into overtime.


The Stars couldn’t take advantage of the 1:46 of four-on-three power play time to open overtime.

During the four-on-four play, Fleury made a big stop on a point blank bid by Stephane Robidas and a Souray blast hit the crossbar with 44 seconds remaining.

In the shootout, Kunitz, James Neal and Dupuis scored for Pittsburgh. Eriksson and Benn scored for the Stars. Pittsburgh took the shootout 3-2 and the game 4-3.

Stars lineup



Lehtonen (starter)

Scratched: Pardy, Petersen
Injured: Dowell (finger), Morrow (neck/shoulder)

Postgame notes

November, 12, 2011
Some notes on Friday’s game that saw the Dallas Stars fall 3-1 at Pittsburgh.

Special teams key: The Stars won the five-on-five battle, at least on the scoreboard, 1-0, but the game turned on special teams. All three Pittsburgh goals came as the result of penalties on Dallas. Pittsburgh was 2-5 on the power play and scored on a penalty shot as well. Whether the calls were good ones or bad ones, the Penguins executed better on special teams. The Stars have now allowed seven power play goals over the last four games and are 16-23 (69.6%) on the PK during that stretch. The Stars were 0-2 on the power play. It’s only the second time in the last seven games the Stars have failed to score on the PP. Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has not allowed a power play goal this season in 40 shorthanded situations.

Turning point: No goal, no problem for Penguins: Both Pittsburgh power play goals by James Neal came just moments after the Penguins had apparent power play goals waved off. The first one was nullified because the puck was deflected in by a Chris Kunitz high stick. The second one was waved off because Kunitz interfered with Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen. In each case the Penguins persevered and scored. The first one tied the game and the second one ended up being the game-winner.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a better response from a team and the guys, both in preparing themselves to go back out when it was a no-goal call and then going out and executing with the rest of the power play,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “That’s pretty impressive to get back out there and not put your head down, get ready to execute and take advantage of what was left. They were both very big goals for us.”

Video review explanation: Here was the NHL’s explanation (provided by Stars PR) on the video review of the Pittsburgh goal that was waved off late in the second period due to being deflected into the net by a high stick:
“At 17:32 of the second period in the Penguins/Stars game, video review proved inconclusive. Therefore referee Furlatt's call on the ice -- that Penguins forward Chris Kunitz deflected the puck into the net with his stick above the crossbar -- stands. No goal Pittsburgh.”
Nystrom continues to roll: Stars forward Eric Nystrom continues his goal scoring roll. He ran his goal scoring streak to four games and now has five in the last six games. With his five goals this season, Nystrom has surpassed his total for all of last season, which was four in 82 games with Minnesota.

Benn line Staaled: The Jamie Benn line, which has been tearing it up lately, was held off the score sheet Friday night. Benn, who had no shots on goal in the game, had a six-game points streak snapped. Loui Eriksson had four shots on goal, but his five-game points streak ended. Michael Ryder, who had seven points over the last three games, had no shots on goal. Give some credit to Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal line(Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis on the wings), which went head-to-head with Benn’s line most of the night. The defense pairings of Paul Martin-Kris Letang and Brooks Orpik-Deryk Engelland played a big role, too.

Statistical tidbits: The Stars fell to 7-3-0 when scoring first. … The Stars are now 6-3-0 when tied after two periods. … The Stars suffered their first loss of the season against the Eastern Conference and are now 3-1-0 against the East.