Dallas Stars: Pekka Rinne

Vezina Trophy finalists

April, 25, 2012
4/25/12
10:22
AM CT
The NHL announced the finalists today for the Vezina Trophy, which goes to the league's top goaltender. The finalists are Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators and Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings.

Here's the release from the NHL:
Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the 2011-12 Vezina Trophy, which is awarded “to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position,” the National Hockey League announced today.

The general managers of the 30 NHL clubs submitted ballots for the Vezina Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 20, during the 2012 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2012 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network in the United States and CBC in Canada.

Following are the finalists for the Vezina Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

Lundqvist was the anchor of a Rangers club that posted its best regular-season record since the Stanley Cup season of 1993-94 and captured first place in the Eastern Conference. He went 39-18-5 in 62 appearances, setting a career high in wins and becoming the first goaltender in NHL history with 30-plus wins in each of his first seven seasons. He placed near the top in all major goaltending categories: third in wins, tied for third in shutouts (eight), fourth in goals-against average (1.97) and fourth in save percentage (.930). Lundqvist is in quest of his first Vezina Trophy win, following third-place finishes from 2006 through 2008.

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Quick was exceptional in backstopping a Kings team that ranked 29th overall in offense to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Coming off a franchise-record, 39-win season in 2010-11, the first-time NHL Trophy finalist posted a 35-21-13 record to become the first Los Angeles goaltender to post 30 wins in three consecutive seasons. Quick led all NHL goaltenders with a franchise-record 10 shutouts and also ranked among League leaders in goals-against average (second, 1.95), save percentage (fifth, .929) and victories (T-fifth, 35). He allowed one goal or shut out the opposition in 27 games and surrendered two goals or fewer 46 times.

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

Rinne was among the NHL's busiest netminders in 2011-12, leading the League in shots faced (2,153) and saves (1,987), tying for first place in appearances (73) and ranking second in starts (72) and minutes (4,168:52). He thrived under the workload, topping all goaltenders in wins (43-18-8) and posting a 2.39 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and five shutouts. He was particularly tough to beat with a lead, as the Predators posted the NHL's second-best points percentage when scoring first (.833, 35-3-4). Rinne earned his second consecutive nomination as a Vezina finalist, having finished second to Boston's Tim Thomas last year.
The Dallas Stars’ quest for a playoff spot ended in Nashville on Thursday night. A 2-0 loss to the Predators mathematically eliminated the Stars from the playoff race.

The Stars now have missed the playoffs four straight seasons, the longest postseason drought in franchise history.

"It's frustrating, disappointing. It doesn’t get easier,” Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. “You always want to win that last one and give our fans the opportunity to see playoff hockey again. They deserve it. Ever since Mr. [Tom] Gaglardi took over [as owner], they’ve been out to support us and root us on. It would have been nice to give them the opportunity to see some playoff hockey.”

Needing a win to keep their hopes alive, the Stars played the Predators to a scoreless tie through the first two periods. But Nashville got that key first goal with 15:32 left in the game when Patric Hornqvist came out from behind the net and put a shot on net and defenseman Francis Bouillon put the rebound past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.

“Good things happen when you take it to the net,” Hornqvist said.

Hornqvist sealed the win for the Predators when he was able to get to the rebound of a Brandon Yip shot and give Nashville a 2-0 lead with just 2:00 left in the game.

The Stars pulled Lehtonen a short time later for the extra attacker and had a late power play but weren’t able to get a puck past Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, who stopped 28 shots for his fifth shutout of the season and his league-best 43rd win.

"The guys did a great job,” Rinne said. “They had a good push there at the end but we did a really good job fiveonfive and on the penalty kill. It was just a solid game. We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary."

It was the second time in the past three games the Stars were shut out.

“It was a good hockey game; we just didn’t get the result we wanted,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. “We played hard, and I liked the way we competed. It was a one-goal hockey game, who could manage to get that one in, and they managed to do so.”

Nashville moved one point ahead of Detroit for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. The Stars, who have lost eight of their past 11 games, wrap up their season Saturday against St. Louis and then will have another long offseason.

“It’s tough,” Stars forward Steve Ott said. “It’s never fun and it’s the worst feeling for a professional hockey player.”

Notes: Fistric injured

*Stars defenseman Mark Fistric left the game in the second period with a groin injury and did not return.

*The Stars were 0-4 on the power play and are now 1-25 on the power play over the past eight games. For the season, the Stars are 30th in the league at 13.8 percent.

*The Stars did change things up on the power play, loading up the first unit with a four-forward look of Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn, Michael Ryder and Mike Ribeiro, along with defenseman Stephane Robidas.

*Right wing Radek Dvorak returned to the lineup after missing the previous five games with an ankle injury.

*Scratches for the Stars were Jake Dowell, Tomas Vincour, Toby Petersen, Reilly Smith and Adam Pardy.

Thursday update: Line juggling

April, 5, 2012
4/05/12
1:19
PM CT
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan juggled his lines during Tuesday's loss to San Jose, and he'll roll out different lines for Thursday's game in Nashville.

Brenden Morrow will move to a line with Mike Ribeiro and Loui Eriksson. Michael Ryder will now play with Jamie Benn and Steve Ott.

"(Morrow) is feeling a lot better here lately, the last couple games," Gulutzan said. "We'll get a change and try to spread out some of the offense with Benny and Rydes there. We're going to play a real team game."

Right wing Radek Dvorak will be back in the lineup after missing the last five games with an ankle injury. He'll be back on a line with Eric Nystrom and Vernon Fiddler.

Kari Lehtonen is in goal for the Stars. Pekka Rinne is the likely starter in goal for the Predators.

Stars-Predators Photos

February, 20, 2012
2/20/12
9:13
AM CT
Here is a link to some photos of last night's game between the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators. You can see all the photos by Shannon Byrne here or by clicking below on the photo of Stars forward Ryan Garbutt trying to get a shot on Predators goalie Pekka Rinne.

#40 Ryan Garbutt shoots on goaltender #35 Pekka Rinne as #20 Ryan Suter crosschecks him.

Stars top Predators 4-1

January, 5, 2012
1/05/12
7:47
PM CT
The Dallas Stars picked up two key points Thursday night, beating the Predators 4-1 in Nashville. The victory pulled the Stars to within one point of the Predators in the Western Conference standings. Mike Ribeiro scored two goals and Jamie Benn had one goal and one assist for his third straight multi-point game. Adam Burish also scored for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 24 of 25 shots to improve to 15-6-1 on the season. The Stars were 3-3 on the penalty kill and are now 8-8 on the PK over the last four games.

First period

Just 1:46 into the game Predators forward Jordin Tootoo dropped the gloves with Stars defenseman Mark Fistric, whose hit had knocked Nashville captain Shea Weber out of action the previous four games.

The Stars opened the scoring at the 4:18 mark when center Mike Ribeiro beat Nashville defensemen Roman Josi and Kevin Kline and then backhanded the puck past Pekka Rinne from close range.

The Predators drew even 8:31 of the period when Tootoo beat Stars defenseman Adam Pardy in a puck battle behind the Dallas net and centered the puck to Gabriel Bourque, who then beat Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen from close range.

The Stars took a 2-1 lead with 38.7 seconds left in the period. Nicklas Grossman put a shot on net from the left point that got behind Rinne and Ribeiro poked it into the net for his second goal of the game.

Second period

The Stars made it a 3-1 at 6:28 of the second period. After Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter reversed the puck behind his own net it went right to Stars forward Jamie Benn, who quickly put it past surprised Predators goalie Pekka Rinne.

The Stars came close to making it a 4-1 game seconds one later, but Steve Ott hit the post on a breakaway.

Ott got a shorthanded breakaway a couple minutes later, but was pulled down by Suter and was awarded a penalty shot. Ott had Rinne beat, but his shot hit the post and it remained a 3-1 game.

The Stars went on their second power play of the game late in the period and lost Mike Ribeiro when he was hit in the face by a Trevor Daley one-timer.

Third period

Ribeiro returned later in the third period wearing a full cage.

The Stars extended the lead to 4-1 at 12:53 of the third, cashing on a Nashville turnover in its own end. Jamie Benn set up Tom Wandell, whose shot from the left circle was tipped into the net by Adam Burish.

Stars lineup

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

Grossman-Daley
Goligoski-Robidas
Fistric-Pardy
Benn

Lehtonen (starter)
Bachman

Scratched: Dowell, Petersen

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars headed into the NHL’s Christmas break with two big points, knocking off the Nashville Predators 6-3 at American Airlines Center Friday night.

“We were all talking that if we could two points tonight it would be a nice two days we could have for Christmas where a guy doesn’t have to search for answers,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “It was a nice win here and getting 20 wins at Christmas was a nice way to have a break.”

The win gave the Stars a 2-1-0 record on their three-game homestand, pushed their record to 20-13-1 on the season and took two points away from a key Western Conference rival. With the victory the Stars moved a point ahead of the Predators in the standings.

The Stars started strong Friday, scoring three goals in a 3:05 span of the first period to chase Nashville starter Pekka Rinne from the net.

“We knew they played last night and that was one of our keys, getting on them right away,” said Stars center Vernon Fiddler. “I thought the guys were getting the pucks deep right off the bat and playing a simple game.”

Fiddler opened the scoring at the 9:25 mark. Radek Dvorak tipped the rebound of a Sheldon Souray shot to Fiddler, who beat Rinne with a shot from the right circle.

Just 1:16 later Loui Eriksson scored off the rush from the left circle to put the Stars up 2-0.

The Stars had a 3-0 lead 1:49 later when Steve Ott tipped home a Trevor Daley point shot, ending the night for Rinne, who surrendered three goals on seven shots and was replaced by Anders Lindback.

Gulutzan liked the strong start for the Stars, but he really liked the way the Stars scored their goals.

“We were shooting the puck. We had traffic, a tip in and a couple deflections. Those are the type of goals we need,” he said. “We scored a couple pretty ones and a couple ugly ones. We need to score more ugly goals. We always look for the pretty plays. It was nice. That was our battle cry here at the start of the game and it was nice to see it executed.”

The Predators, who rallied from a 4-1 deficit Thursday night to defeat Columbus, made a game of it in the second, scoring twice in less than three minutes to cut Dallas’ lead to 3-2.

Matt Halischuk scored off a scramble in front of Stars goalie Richard Bachman at the 8:56 mark to make it a 3-1 game. Martin Erat scored off a one-timer with Nashville on a five-on-three power play at 11:45 of the second to pull the Predators within 3-2.

But the Stars extended the lead to 4-2 less than three minutes later when Brenden Morrow sent a pass from the left boards to Mike Ribeiro, who scored from the right circle at 14:10 of the period.

The Predators scored their second power play of the game at 4:38 of the third to make it a 4-3 game. Colin Wilson set up David Legwand, who put the puck into the open side of the net from close range.

But the Stars answered 30 seconds later when Eriksson set up Jamie Benn, who beat Lindback from close range to give the Stars a 5-3 lead.

“Ribby’s goal was real big and then Benny’s line answers in the third,” said Gulutzan. “Those things take a bite out of an attack of a visiting team, especially on that is playing its second game in as many nights. Those response goals by us hurt any team and I am sure they really hurt Nashville.”

Predators coach Barry Trotz agreed, those response goals hurt his team.

"You're battling back, gaining momentum, the next shift is crucial,” Trotz said. “We did that twice, and that's unacceptable if you want to win the game. We've got to firm up.''

The loss was just the second in the last eight games for the Predators (6-2-0). For the Stars it was their fifth win in the last seven games (5-2-0).

“These last seven games we were 5-2, and that was a big push for us,” Gulutzan said. “We exceeded our expectations in these seven.”

Notes

*Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray left the game early in the second period with an ankle injury. He will be re-evaluated after the break, but Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said the injury did not appear serious.

*Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas missed his second straight game with a foot injury. Tomas Vincour (knee) and Kari Lehtonen (groin) also missed the game due to injury.

*Stars defenseman Philip Larsen returned to the lineup after missing two games with a charley horse.

*The Stars dressed seven defensemen and eleven forwards in the game. Toby Petersen and Jake Dowell were the healthy scratches for Dallas.

*Stars forward Adam Burish was shaken up after being hit hard into the boards by Nashville’s Blake Geoffrion in the third period. Gulutzan said Burish was fine. Geoffrion received a minor penalty for boarding.

*Friday’s attendance was 15,245

Vezina Trophy finalists

April, 22, 2011
4/22/11
12:13
PM CT
The Vezina Trophy finalists were announced today and they are: Roberto Luongo, Pekka Rinne and Tim Thomas. Here's the release from the NHL:
Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins are the three finalists for the 2010-11 Vezina Trophy, which is awarded “to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position,” the National Hockey League announced today.

The general managers of the 30 NHL clubs submitted ballots for the Vezina Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2011 NHL Awards from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas. The 2011 NHL Awards will be broadcast by VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.

Following are the finalists for the Vezina Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

Luongo backstopped the Canucks to their finest regular season in franchise history, capturing the Presidents' Trophy for best record and posting the lowest team goals-against average (2.20). Luongo went 38-15-7 in 60 appearances, registering the best goals-against average in his 11-year NHL career (2.11) and his top save percentage since joining the Canucks in 2006-07 (.928). He tied for the League lead in victories, ranked second in goals-against average and fourth in save percentage. Luongo is a Vezina finalist for the third time, having finished third in the voting in 2004 and second in 2007.

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

Rinne played a critical role in securing the Predators' sixth playoff berth in the past seven seasons by registering career-best totals in all major categories, going 33-22-9 with a 2.12 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and six shutouts in 64 games. He ranked second among NHL goaltenders in save percentage and placed third in goals-against average. Beginning with a 4-1 win at Minnesota on New Year's Eve, the first-time Vezina Trophy finalist started 42 of the Predators' final 46 games, allowing two goals or fewer 28 times. He posted 25 wins in that span, second in the League behind San Jose's Antti Niemi (27).

Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

Thomas enjoyed a record-setting bounceback season after undergoing off-season hip surgery. He won his first eight decisions, which broke a club record set by Tiny Thompson in 1937-38, and won his first nine road games -- becoming the first NHL goaltender to do so since Chicago's Glenn Hall in 1965-66. The 2009 Vezina Trophy winner finished the season with a 35-11-9 record and .938 save percentage, eclipsing Dominik Hasek's .937 with Buffalo in 1998-99 as the best since the statistic was introduced in 1976-77. Thomas also led all goaltenders in goals-against average (2.00) and ranked second in shutouts (nine).

Stars fall to Predators, 4-2

March, 26, 2011
3/26/11
7:47
PM CT


The Dallas Stars’ winless streak hit three games (0-1-2) and they fell to 2-3-3 in their last eight games with a 4-2 loss at Nashville on Saturday night.

The loss left the Stars in ninth place in the Western Conference for the time being. Nashville won its sixth straight game and moved six points ahead of the Stars in the standings. Los Angeles, a winner earlier in the day, also moved six points ahead of Dallas.

Alex Goligoski and Brenden Morrow scored for the Stars. Mike Ribeiro had two assists. Kari Lehtonen stopped 28 shots.

Quotable

“Our work ethic was there tonight. We had guys battling. We made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized on a couple of those plays. It was a one-goal game. It was exactly what we thought it was going to be, we just ended up on the wrong side of it. We have to keep persevering and we will.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford

“The last few games has been execution. Our battle level is there. We’re trying to do everything for the good of the group, it is just execution, over-trying or whatever it is. I’ve said it before, there’s lots of hockey. Win or lose tonight, we weren’t in the playoffs. We know that this road trip is a huge part of the season and we’re going to keep battling.” – Stars center Brad Richards

Notes

*The Stars are 8-11-5 since the All-Star break.

*The Predators are 14-8-4 since the All-Star break.

*The Stars had a five-game points streak on the road snapped.

*The Stars and Predators split the season series with each team picking up four points.

*Alex Goligoski has scored a goal in three straight games.

*Goligoski played 31:54 in the game.

*Mike Ribeiro had two assists in the game and now has 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) in the last nine games.

*The Stars won 25 of 58 faceoffs (43%).

First period

The Stars opened the scoring at the 8:49 mark by cashing in on their first power play chance of the game. After some good work along the boards by Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro, Loui Eriksson sent a cross-ice pass to Alex Goligoski, who scored from the bottom of the right faceoff circle.

The Predators countered with an even strength goal at the 14:26 mark. After the Stars couldn’t clear their zone, Martin Erat centered the puck from behind the net and David Legwand banged it past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen to make it a 1-1 game.

Krys Barch was a healthy scratch for Dallas. Adam Burish (leg), Nicklas Grossman (knee), Karlis Skrastins (leg laceration) and Brian Sutherby (back) remained out with injuries.

Second period

The Predators pushed hard early in the second, the Stars were a mess in their own zone and Nashville took a 2-1 lead at the 2:33 mark when Mike Fisher scored off a blast from the right faceoff circle.

The Stars pulled even when Brenden Morrow’s centering pass from behind the goal line hit a Nashville stick, Predators goalie Pekka Rinne’s head and then dropped into the net to make it a 2-2 game at the 4:07 mark.

A few minutes later Rinne made a nice save a Brandon Segal point blank to keep it a 2-2 game.

Nashville took the lead again at the 9:57 mark when the Stars turned over the puck in their own end, Ryan Suter put a shot on net and Fisher backhanded the rebound into the net.

Third period

Both teams had power play chances in the first half of the period, but neither could take advantage.

The Stars got their big chance to tie with 2:00 left when Suter took hooking penalty, but the Stars could cash in on the chance. They pulled Kari Lehtonen for the extra attacker and Legwand scored into the empty net with four seconds remaining to make it a 4-2 final.

Stars lineup

Morrow-Ribeiro-Benn
Eriksson-Richards-Langenbrunner
Ott-Wandell/Benn-Vincour
Petersen-Wandell-Williams
Ott-Wandell-Segal
Vincour-Ott-Segal

Goligoski-Robidas
Woywitka-Daley
Lukowich-Fistric

Lehtonen
Raycroft (backup)

Injured: Grossman (knee), Skrastins (leg), Burish (leg), Sutherby (back)

Scratches: Barch

Power play units

Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson-Richards-Goligoski
Ott-Benn-Langenbrunner-Richards-Goligoski

Penalty kill units

Ott-Benn-Fistric-Robidas
Petersen-Wandell-Goligoski-Daley
Ribeiro-Morrow-Fistric-Robidas

Stars rally to down Predators, 3-2

February, 26, 2011
2/26/11
2:13
PM CT
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

Stars-Predators thoughts

October, 23, 2010
10/23/10
10:36
PM CT
Some thoughts and observations after the Dallas Stars lost 1-0 the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center Saturday night.
  • Can’t fault the effort in this game. The Stars played well and lost out to a goaltender who played great. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne had some top notch saves to keep the Stars off the scoreboard. The Stars missed on a few other chances, but the chances were there. Said Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen: "I think just about everybody is pleased with the effort that we put out tonight. We had a ton of scoring chances. They got the one early, but besides that Kari [Lehtonen] was rock solid. Sometimes you just run into a hot goalie."
  • The chances against were down for a second straight game that’s another positive for the Stars, who allowed just 24 shots Saturday and just 28 Thursday night against Florida.
  • The penalty kill was 2-2 and is now 5-5 over the last two games. Take out two bad games where they gave up multiple goals and the Stars PK really hasn’t been that bad.
  • The power play continues to struggle. It was 0-3 in this game and is 0-14 over the last four. For the season it is just 2-25. It did have some chances, including one where Jamie Benn shot high at an open net.
  • Kari Lehtonen was sharp again in net, stopping 23 of 24 shots. You couldn’t ask much more from him in the game.
  • The Stars got a lot of strong performances. Mike Ribeiro had a really good effort tonight with four shots on goal and a 12-15 showing in the faceoff department. The Benn-Wandell-Ott line was strong as well.
  • Overall, despite the loss, this was another strong effort for the Stars and a step in the right direction as far as how they want to play. They couldn’t finish off some scoring chances, but Rinne had a lot to do with that.

Stars fall 1-0 to Predators

October, 23, 2010
10/23/10
7:49
PM CT
The Dallas Stars opened their six-game homestand with a 1-0 loss to the Nashville Predators, who got a 30-save performance from goaltender Pekka Rinne.

Nashville got a goal from Cal O’Reilly 42 seconds into the game and Rinne held the for the rest of the way against the Stars, who played well and got some quality scoring chances in the game.

“I think that was one of the best games we've played this year,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “I thought except for a couple minutes in the first period, they played as good a game as we could have asked them to play... I believe if we play that type of game and capitalize on our chances the way we have been, we’ll be pretty pleased with a lot of outings like that and we’ll be on the good side of them."

The Stars, who outshot Nashville 30-24 on the night, are now 5-2-0 on the season. Nashville, the only team in the league without a regulation loss, is now 4-0-3 on the season.

Second Period

The Dallas Stars still trail the Nashville Predators 1-0 after two periods at American Airlines Center. The Stars had some great chances to get the equalizer, but couldn’t cash in.

The Stars got their first power play of the game at 9:28 of the second period and both teams had great chances. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne made a nice sprawling save after a shot from the point led to a scramble around the net and then a few moments later he stopped James Neal from point blank range. Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen came up big, stopping Nashville’s Steve Sullivan on a shorthanded breakaway.

The Stars had another power play later in the period and Jamie Benn had a good look at an open net and shot high.

With the teams back at five-on-five play later in the period, Mike Ribeiro hit a post off the rush.

Some notes from the second period.
  • The Stars outshot the Predators 13-5 in the second and now have a 21-16 shots advantage through two periods
  • The Stars are 0-2 on the power play and 1-1 on the penalty kill in the game
  • The Stars have won 23 of 38 faceoffs through two periods
  • Mike Ribeiro has won 10 of 12 faceoffs
  • Ribeiro and James Neal lead the Stars with four shots on goal through two periods
First Period

The Dallas Stars trail the Nashville Predators 1-0 after 20 minutes at American Airlines Center. The only goal of the period came early.

The Predators scored just 42 seconds into the game when a Shea Weber blast from the right point hit the post and Cal O’Reilly scored off the rebound.

The Stars had some good chances, among them was a Brenden Morrow shot from close range that was turned away by Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne.

The Stars took a penalty late in the period, so Nashville will have 1:39 of power play time when the second period opens.

Some notes from the first period.
  • Nashville outshot the Stars 11-8
  • The Stars won 11 of 16 faceoffs
  • Mike Ribeiro was 5-5 in faceoffs in the period
  • There was only one penalty called (Matt Niskanen/interference) and that came in the final minute of the period, giving Nashville the first power play of the game

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