Stars Can't Overcome Early Deficit, Fall to Lightning

Saturday, 03.1.2014 / 7:36 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
X
Share with your Friends


Stars Can\'t Overcome Early Deficit, Fall to Lightning

The Dallas Stars fell behind 3-0 Saturday afternoon, rallied to get close but could never overcome the deficit, falling 4-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning at American Airlines Center.

“The thing I like is we hunkered down, went to work and fought our way back,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “At 3-2 we had two or three unbelievable opportunities to tie and we missed those opportunities.”

After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Stars outshot the Lightning 33-10 over the final two periods, cut the deficit to 3-2 late in the second period but could never pull even in the game. For the game, the Stars outshot the Lightning 41-21 and had an 83-40 advantage in shots directed toward the net.

“For 40 minutes I thought we were good, but for 20 minutes we weren’t good,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley. “It’s a 60 minute game. It’s definitely frustrating.”

Despite the loss, the Stars (28-22-10) remained in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are tied with both Vancouver and Winnipeg at 66 points, but the Stars have played two fewer games and hold the first tiebreaker, which is points percentage.

The Lightning got a 39-save effort from goaltender Ben Bishop and two goals from Martin St. Louis. The Lightning bounced back from Thursday’s loss in Nashville when they squandered a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2.

“It was weird today because I didn’t even think about that, when we gave up that lead. Clearly we were under siege for the second half of that second period, but I thought our goalie stood tall,” said Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper. “Guys committed to blocking shots and kept pucks out. That’s a really good team over there. It’s hard to come back in this league. We obviously showed that it wasn’t that hard the way we played in Nashville, but statistically, it’s hard to come back in this league.”

The Lightning took the early lead with a goal 1:25 into the game. An Eric Brewer shot off the rush bounced off St. Louis and past Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

Tampa Bay extended the lead to 2-0 when Nate Thompson deflected a Victor Hedman shot past Lehtonen at 12:09 of the first.

“They got one goal that bounced in off a guy’s pants and another off a deflection. It wasn’t our best start, but those kinds of things happen,” said Stars center Vernon Fiddler. “We can’t let that happen. We’ve got to be in every game. You give them a two-goal lead and it’s tough to come back.”

The Stars’ penalty kill came up big late in the period, killing off a four-minute Tampa Bay power play after Dallas forward Alex Chiasson took a high sticking double minor.

The Stars dominated play in the second period, holding an 11-2 shots advantage through the first 14 minutes of the period. But St. Louis scored on Tampa Bay’s third shot of the period, beating Lehtonen on a breakaway, to put the Lightning up 3-0 with 5:29 remaining in the period.

The Stars answered a little more than a minute later when Kevin Connauton put a shot on net from the left boards and Antoine Roussel’s deflection bounced off a Tampa Bay defender and into the net to make it a 3-1 game with 4:10 left in the second.

The Stars made it a 3-2 game with 1:49 left in the second when Fiddler came out from behind the net and slipped the puck past Bishop from close range.

The Stars went on a power play late in the second and had 1:38 of time remaining on it to start the third, but they couldn’t cash in. The Stars’ power play was 0-3 in the game and is 1-26 over the last seven games.

“We could have used one,” Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski said. “We had a chance in a one-goal game. We’ve got to figure that out.”

The Stars had a 6-0 shots advantage at the first TV timeout of the third period, but the Lightning scored on their first shot of the period when Sami Salo tallied off a blast from just inside the blue line to put Tampa Bay up 4-2 with 12:48 remaining in the third.

The Stars pulled Lehtonen late in the game for an extra attacker, but couldn’t cut into Tampa Bay’s lead and lost in regulation for just the second time in their last 11 games (7-2-2).

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 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 54 28 33 16 61
T. Seguin 54 28 30 11 58
J. Klingberg 54 9 35 15 44
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 54 16 24 -1 40
A. Goligoski 54 4 20 17 24
C. Eakin 54 10 13 1 23
M. Janmark 54 10 10 13 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 51 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 14 5 0 .909 2.82
DallasStars.com is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Corporate Partnerships | Contact UsPrivacy Policy | AdChoices | Job Opportunities | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map | Find us on Google+