Monday, February 25, 2013

Fallen Prey. Dallas Stars Game 19: 5-4 OT Loss at the Nashville Predators

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Again the Dallas Stars had a big second period and headed into the third with a lead, but couldn’t hold on.

The Stars led 4-2 midway through the second period and headed into the third with a one goal lead, but the Nashville Predators rallied for a 5-4 overtime win Monday night.

Matt Fraser scored his first NHL goal and the Stars received additional scoring from Reilly Smith, Vernon Fiddler and Loui Eriksson, but Roman Josi’s blast from the top of the right circle 28 seconds into overtime gave the Predators the win and the very important two points in the standings.

Cristopher Nilstorp started in net again and stoped 26 of the 31 shots he faced. The one he would most likely want to have back was Mike Fisher’s goal 8:22 into the third period that tied the game at 4-4. Fisher received a pass near center ice and flew into the Stars’ zone. He skated between Jamie Oleksiak and Alex Goligoski and put in a soft backhander between Nilstorp’s legs.

Nashville opened the scoring the lone first period goal, but Dallas erupted early in the second period. Only 1:20 into the second period Loui Eriksson stood behind the Nashville net and sent a pass out front intended for Derek Roy. Roy fanned on the shot and the puck went past him but right to Fraser who skated in and slapped the puck past Pekka Rinne.

Twent-five seconds later Smith tipped in a pass from Michael Ryder across the slot and just like that the Stars took a 2-1 lead. One minute and twenty seconds later, Josi’s slap shot from the point found its way through a crowd in front of Nilstorp and tied the game for Nashville.

Fiddler’s goal came on a delayed penalty 7:29 into the second period. The Stars were on the power play already and when Fisher committed a high stick in the Stars zone, Nilstorp skated to the bench and Fiddler jumped on as the extra attacker. Jamie Benn was standing in the high slot and made a pass back to a streaking fiddler who ripped a slap shot in the corner above Rinne’s left shoulder.

The Stars’ second power play goal of the night came nearly two minutes later when Eriksson’s shot from the side boards hit off Josi’s stick in front and slipped past Rinne. Patric Hornqvist’s power play goal came with less than seven minutes left in the second period when his intended-pass hit off of Brenden Dillon’s stick and fluttered into the net.

The Stars have now scored three or more goals in 10 consecutive games, and they have scored two power play goals in their last two. They killed three of four penalties but had fewer shots (31-24), fewer hits (28-15), fewer faceoff wins (31-26), fewer blocked shots (20-10) and fewer takeaways (7-4).

The Stars look to get an elusive win in the second game of a back-to-back as they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night. 


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