Sometimes you need a break or two to win a game, and the breaks didn’t go the Dallas Stars’ way Thursday night. The Stars lost a goal to a quick whistle and had a couple of tough bounces in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center.
“We had a lot of good chances, just kind of got the wrong side of the post on a few of them,” said Stars forward Reilly Smith, who had a shot rattle off the post and crossbar in the second period. “We have to start burying the puck because these last few games we haven’t created enough offensive opportunities to put the puck in the back of the net.”
The shootout loss pushed the Stars winless streak to three games (0-2-1) and they’ve scored just two goals during that stretch. The power play is 1-14 over the last three games, and it was 0-5 Thursday night.
“I didn’t think we executed,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Our power play has been working pretty hard, but maybe we got outworked a little bit, and we didn’t execute.”
The Stars took a 1-0 lead 12:35 into the game when Ray Whitney picked off the rebound of an Alex Goligoski shot and roofed the puck over Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller.
The Ducks answered in the second period when Andrew Cogliano scored off the rebound of his own shot at the 7:28 mark.
A couple minutes later came a key moment in the game. Whitney put a shot on net, Hiller fumbled it and Derek Roy grabbed the puck and put it in the net to give the Stars an capparent 2-1 lead. But referee Mark Joannette blew the whistle before the puck was in the goal, apparently thinking Hiller had control.
“Well, they weren’t doing us any favors. It was a quick whistle. It should have been a goal,” said Gulutzan. “Those things happen in a game. You’ve got a lot of time to put another one in. The reality is we needed to get something on our specialty teams and five-on-five we needed to get to the net a little bit better. We never got any puck luck.”
“Those things are unfortunate,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. “They happen. People make mistakes. Marc made a mistake on that one. He was a little quick on his whistle. But we needed to step up and our power play needed to step up. We had plenty of opportunities to find one. We didn’t. It’s on us.”
The Stars had an opportunity a short time later, but a Smith shot hit the post and crossbar. They had three power play chances in the third period, but couldn’t take advantage. Jaromir Jagr had a shot go off the post and crossbar.
“[it was a winnable game], special teams again, just like last game,” said Morrow. “Last couple we could have done us some favors and just came up short.”
After a scoreless overtime, the game went to the shootout. Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf scored for the Ducks. Loui Eriksson and Whitney missed on their attempts against Hiller.
The win was the fifth straight for the Ducks, who improved to 20-3-3 on the season.
“It feels good,” said Getlzaf. “We got some bounces tonight that could have been goals and our penalty kills did a great job helping us and our goaltender again. Those are games that feel really good to win as a team.”
*The Stars are now 5-2-1 against the Pacific Division this season.
*The Stars are 1-1 in shootouts and 3-3 in games that have gone beyond regulation.
*The Ducks are 5-3 in shootouts this season and 6-3 in games that have gone beyond regulation.
*Kari Lehtonen stopped 29 of 30 shots for the Stars.
*Jonas Hiller stopped 33 of 34 shots for the Ducks.
*Jamie Benn (wrist) and Aaron Rome (foot) were out for Dallas Thursday night.
*Tomas Vincour and Jamie Oleksiak were healthy scratches for Dallas.
*Attendance Thursday night was 15,775.