The Dallas Stars waited 20 minutes before finally waking up and deciding to compete, but by then it was already too late. The Coyotes grabbed an early 1-0 lead and the Stars were never able to tie it, despite a spirited effort in the second and third periods. To add to the mounting frustrations of a long season, the Stars were given a taste of exactly what this team has been lacking: solid goaltending that steals a win on the road.
Ilya Byrzgalov, as he always is against the Stars, was absolutely amazing as he withstood 21 third period shots by the Stars to help his team hold on to the lead. The line combination of Brenden Morrow, Jamie Benn and Steve Ott once again shined, and even Fabian Brunnstrom stepped his game up to get a big goal late in the game to get the Stars within 3-2.
Yet an absolutely horrendous goal allowed by Alex Auld just seconds later negated any momentum the Stars had built. When your team has played as hard as they did in the third just to get within one game, allowing a goal off a slap shot from just inside the blue line is unacceptable.
Let's not pin the entire loss on Auld; defensive mistakes and a lackluster start didn't help matters. Yet the truth remains that all season long when this team has needed their goaltenders to make that one big save, they have not risen to the challenge. Whether it is Auld or Marty Turco in net, the Stars have struggled all season long with this one major aspect of successful hockey.
Notes on the game from Stars PR after the jump:Stats and Stuff:
• The loss snapped the Stars' home winning streak at five games. Dallas is 8-2-0 in their last 10 at American Airlines Center. The Stars have registered at least one point in 15 of their last 18 games at American Airlines Center (13-3-2), and in 19 of their last 23 (15-4-4).
• Steve Ott scored his 11th goal of the season. He has 1-1-2 points in his last two games.
• Toby Petersen earned his second assist in as many games. It was his third assist of the season.
• Trevor Daley's assist gives him points in three of the last six games (2-1-3).
• Fabian Brunnstrom scored his second goal of the season.
• Brenden Morrow registered his 15th assist of the season.
• Alex Auld picked up his second assist of the season and second in his last three games. Dallas' goaltenders have combined for five assists this season, the most in the league (Colorado/Carolina have four).
• THREE STARS OF THE GAME: 1) Shane Doan, 2) Peter Mueller, 3) Ilya Bryzgalov
• The Dallas Stars will not practice on Monday. The Stars will have morning skate on Tuesday at American Airlines Center at 10:30 am; media availability at approximately 11:00 a.m.