The Dallas Stars were in a position to grab two points in Nashville Monday night, but they ended up with just one. The Stars let a 4-2 lead slip away, and ended up falling 5-4 in overtime to the Predators.
“We let them back in,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “That’s about it.”
The Stars seemed to take control of the game just before the midway point of the second, getting power play goals from Vernon Fiddler and Loui Eriksson in a 1:52 span to take a 4-2 lead. But three minutes later, the Stars found themselves on the wrong end of a five-on-three power play.
“We just didn’t have a good feel for the game after we were up 4-2,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We needed to stay disciplined after the double minor for high sticking (on Nashville’s Mike Fisher). They are going to look for something on you.”
Stars forward Eric Nystrom fought Nashville’s Brandon Yip, but picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct minor to put Nashville on a power play. Just 39 seconds later Fiddler pushed Fisher from behind at the benches, touching off a scrum. Fiddler picked up the extra minor (unsportsmanlike conduct), and the Predators had a 1:21 five-on-three power play.
“It wasn’t (a smart play),” Gulutzan said of the Fiddler penalty. “You can’t go down five-on-three. You can’t do that. They are emotional guys, but at the end of the day we need to be disciplined. There’s a difference between emotion and discipline, and we needed to be on the discipline side. It was a needless penalty.”
And it was costly. Nashville’s Patric Hornqvist scored on a close range backhand shot to cut the Stars’ lead to 4-3, and the Predators were back in the game, and then outshot the Stars 14-7 over the rest of the game.
“They came a little stronger and we kind of sat back a little bit,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “I don’t know why we decided to sit back, but we really didn’t play our game.”
Those power play goals were part of a six-goal second period that saw the Stars tally four times and Nashville twice. The Stars got goals from Matt Fraser and Reilly Smith 25 seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead early in the second. It was the first NHL goal for Fraser, who scored off a blast from the slot. Nashville bounced back a short time later when Roman Josi scored his first of the game, tallying off a shot from the left point to tie the game at 2-2. After the two power play goals by Dallas, and the five-on-three tally by the Predators, it was a 4-3 game heading into the third.
Fisher scored at the 8:22 mark of the third, splitting Dallas defenseman Alex Goligoski and Jamie Oleksiak and then backhanding the puck between the legs of Stars goalie Cristopher Nilstorp to make it a 4-4 game.
It took just 28 seconds for the Predators to end it in overtime as Josi scored off a shot from the left point to give Nashville the extra point in the game.
“It was a real character win,” said Nashville coach Barry Trotz. “We ran into a little adversity today, and found a way to get it done.”
The Predators, who were coming off two straight shutout losses, improved to 9-6-5 on the season. The Stars fell to 9-8-2.
“Obviously we are disappointed with the result, but we came back, they came back,” said Nystrom. “We just have to move ahead. We have another one tomorrow.”
*The Stars have scored three goals or more in ten straight games, and 11 of their last 12.
*The Stars have allowed four or more goals in four of their last six games.
*The Stars were 2-4 on the power play and are 4-10 on the PP over their last two games.
*Stars forward Michael Ryder, who had three assists in the game, has points in six straight games (2 goals, 7 assists).
*Stars center Jamie Benn has points in three straight games (2 goals, 2 assists) and now has 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists) over his last ten games.
*Antoine Roussel was a healthy scratch for the Stars. Tom Wandell remains on a conditioning assignment in the AHL.
*G Kari Lehtonen, D Philip Larsen, D Aaron Rome and RW Ray Whitney were all out with injuries.