Slow Starting Stars Fall to Wild

Saturday, 10.12.2013 / 11:02 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Slow Starting Stars Fall to Wild

The Dallas Stars fell flat in Minnesota Saturday night, falling 5-1 to the Wild at the Excel Energy Center. The Stars gave up a goal on the first shift of the game and spent the rest of the night chasing the Wild.

Minnesota scored just 12 seconds into the game to take the early lead. After Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon turned the puck over in the defensive zone, Matt Cooke set up Justin Fontaine, who beat Dan Ellis with a backhand shot for his first NHL goal.

It’s not the start the Stars needed on a night when they were playing the second game of a back-to-back.

“It definitely didn’t help us,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Ill-advised play in our own zone and it gave them life right off the bat.”

It wasn’t the start Ellis wanted.

“Whenever you are playing that second night of a back-to-back you want to calm the game down early and when the first shot goes in as a knuckle-puck, it’s not the way you want to start it,” said Ellis

Cooke made it a 2-0 game at 10:41 of the first. Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski lost the puck behind the Dallas net, Cooke grabbed it and slipped the puck past Ellis on a wrap-around.

“We gave them a two goal lead,” Goligoski said. “Sloppy plays and we really never got going after that. We got outplayed all over the rink. It was a tough night.”

The Stars, who were outshot 36-19 in the game, were even on their heels when they had a couple of first period power plays with a chance to get back into the game.

The Stars had back-to-back chances with the man-advantage, including a brief five-on-three, but Minnesota had the better chances, getting two clean shorthanded breakaways. Kyle Brodziak lost the puck on his backhand on one chance and Ellis stopped Cooke on the other.

The Stars had some good pressure to start the second, but couldn’t cut into the Wild lead. Minnesota then went on a couple of power plays and scored on the second one to make it a 3-0 game. Defenseman Matthew Dumba scored from the left circle at the 8:23 mark for his first NHL goal.

Less than two minutes later, Minnesota had a 4-0 lead. Nino Niederreiter picked off the rebound of a Mikko Koivu shot off the end boards and scored from the left circle at 10:20.

The Stars finally got on the board at the 12:40 mark with a power play goal. Jordie Benn pinched in from the point, grabbed a deflected pass and beat Wild goaltender Josh Harding from the right circle to make it a 4-1 game.

Minnesota scored on the power play late in the third to round out the scoring. Zach Parise scored off the rebound of a Jared Spurgeon shot with 5:30 left in the game.

The loss dropped the Stars to 2-2-0 on the season, while the Wild improved to 2-1-2.

“We just got off on the wrong foot tonight,” said Goligoski. “It just spiraled from there.”

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 53 32 18 3 146 124 67
5 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
6 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
7 COL 57 28 25 4 153 158 60
8 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
9 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 53 25 25 3 143 156 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 55 28 34 16 62
T. Seguin 55 28 32 11 60
J. Klingberg 55 10 36 14 46
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 55 16 24 -2 40
A. Goligoski 55 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 55 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 55 10 10 14 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 52 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 15 5 0 .912 2.79
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