Friday, January 25, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 4: Overtime Loss to the Chicago Blackhawks

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History was made. But not the kind the Stars wanted to be a part of.

The Dallas Stars jumped to a 2-0 lead, but the undefeated Chicago Blackhawks came back to win 3-2 in overtime Thursday night in Dallas. With the victory, the Blackhawks started off a season 4-0-0 for the first time in 40 years.

The Blackhawks dominated the statistics for the entire game, but the Stars took advantage of their few opportunities to take the lead through the first half of the game. The Stars were outshot 41 to 23, but special teams would be the key factor of the night.

Loui Eriksson opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at the end of the first period. Two consecutive slap shots from the point inside of Dallas’ zone were blocked before Derek Roy flicked the puck over a couple of sticks to spring Loui Eriksson to a 1-on-1 opportunity. Blackhawks goalie Carl Crawford made the initial save, but the puck trickled down between his legs and squeezed out behind him and into the net with 0.4 seconds left.

The Stars followed it up with a gritty goal 10:41 into the second period. Cody Eakin lost the faceoff outside of Chicago’s zone, but Ray Whitney went on the attack. He got a piece of the puck as Michael Roszival attempted to clear, and Eakin quickly made a one-touch pass to Whitney. After deflecting the clearing attempt, Whitney skated to the front of the net where he was wide open for Eakin’s pass. Whitney made a half-spin backhand shot that went over Crawford and under the crossbar to give the Stars a 2-0 lead.

About five minutes later with Philip Larsen in the penalty box, Patrick Sharp attempted a cross-ice pass in front of Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen. Defenseman Trevor Daley was standing at the top of the crease and attempted to cut off the pass. But instead of stopping the puck, it bounced off of the blade of his stick and slid into the net.

Before the period ended Alex Goligoski blasted a shot from the point that went in between Crawford’s legs. But as it trickled toward the net Duncan Keith skated in and swiped the puck away.

Chicago tied the game in the third period with another power play goal. Jonathan Toews received a cross-ice pass from Sharp, took a couple of strides and ripped the puck over Lehtonen’s right shoulder to tie the game with 5:53 left in regulation.

In overtime, Stars captain Brenden Morrow was called for an interference penalty that put Chicago on back on the power play. After Sharp and Marian Hossa battled for the puck down low in the Stars zone, Hossa skated away with the puck and passed to Patrick Kane who was wide open in the right circle. He held the puck for a second, drawing the attention of the all three Stars penalty killers, and he backhanded a pass back to a wide open Hossa who one-timed it past Lehtonen and into the back of the net. It was Chicago’s third power play goal ending their night at 3-for-7 while Dallas went 0-for-2.

Dallas faces another tough opponent Saturday when the 3-1-0 St. Louis Blues come to town. 

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