The Dallas Stars dropped to 1-4-1 out of the All-Star break, falling 2-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center Sunday afternoon. Brad Richards scored the lone goal for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 37 of 39 shots. The Stars also lost defenseman Nicklas Grossman to a lower body injury in the game. Grossman left in the first period and did not return.
“We’re doing some things that just don’t work. We’re not quite on the same page for whatever reason. There’s little things – like turnovers at blue lines – stuff we haven’t been doing all year. We just didn’t start and we didn’t compete like they did at the start.” – Stars center Brad Richards.
“We scored the first goal, so I don’t think it was a slow start for us. I thought we were guilty of being too casual for 7-10 minutes and casual play can’t be accepted at this time of the year. We have no one to blame but ourselves for that.” - Stars coach Marc Crawford
*The Stars are 2-6-1 over their last nine games overall.
*The Stars gave up 39 shots on Sunday. They have given up 35 shots or more in five of the last eight games.
*The Stars were 1-6 on the power play Sunday and are 3-33 on the PP over their last nine games.
*Stars center Brad Richards scored a goal Sunday, giving him 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in the last 14 games.
The Dallas Stars were outshot 18-6 in the first period, but thanks to some big saves from Kari Lehtonen they are tied 1-1 with the Columbus Blue Jackets after one period of play at American Airlines Center.
The Stars cashed in on their first power play chance when Brad Richards beat Steve Mason with a shot from the bottom of the right circle at the 4:36 mark.
But less than a minute later the Blue Jackets drew even. Off a faceoff win in the Dallas zone, Matt Calvert scored off the rebound of an Anton Stralman shot from the point at the 5:22 mark.
Less than a minute after that Stars goalie Lehtonen made a sprawling save off a scramble in front of the Dallas net to keep it a tie game. Lehtonen came up with several other big stops the rest of the period as the Blue Jackets continued to keep the pressure on in the Dallas zone.
The Stars lost Nicklas Grossman to a lower body injury during the first period. He is not expected to return, leaving the Stars with five defensemen the rest of the game.
Jason Williams, signed to a contract Saturday, started the game playing right wing on a line with center Aaron Gagnon and left wing Brian Sutherby. Williams is wearing No. 27 for the Stars.
Matt Niskanen was the scratch on defense for the third straight game.
The Blue Jackets had a 5-1 shots advantage early in the second period and scored on their sixth shot at the 6:33 mark. Rick Nash took a long pass from Jakub Voracek at the Dallas blue line, skated in on net and roofed a backhand shot over Kari Lehtonen.
The Stars had a couple of power play chances in the period, including one that was cut short when Brenden Morrow took an interference penalty.
Columbus outshot the Stars 12-10 in the second and has a 30-16 advantage for the game.
The Stars got a power play chance early in the third – their fifth of the game – but couldn’t take advantage. Columbus goalie Steve Mason came up with a sharp pad save on a Stephane Robidas bid from the left faceoff circle.
Mason came up big with about seven minutes to go, making two back-to-back saves, including a pad stop on a Steve Ott rebound attempt.
The Stars pulled Kari Lehtonen with 1:00 remaining for the extra attacker, but couldn’t get any quality chances.
Injured: Burish (orbital bone), Barch (orbital bone), Benn (shoulder), Petersen (leg), Sawada (shoulder)
Power play units
Penalty kill units