The road was not kind to the Dallas Stars last season, seeing them lose 14 of 16 away from the comfy confines of the AAC at one point. After a 4-3 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues tonight, the Stars end their abbreviated pre-season with an 0-2 road record, and play their first two regular season games on the road in New Jersey and Long Island next weekend.
Things were going well for the Stars through two periods. Despite being out-shot 12-1 in the second period they still held a 2-0 edge on the scoreboard on the strength of two power play goals.
Kari Lehtonen weathered the storm once again and had a shutout through two periods, facing 19 shots, but the coaching staff opted to replace him in order to get backup Andrew Raycroft more time in net. Raycroft allowed 4 goals in just under 25 minutes of play, allowing St. Louis to complete the comeback.
The power play was a bright spot for Dallas producing all three goals. Matt Niskanen had two assists and a goal (to go with his slashing penalty and tripping penalty), and Adam Burish had another strong showing, screening Halak on the Stars tally in the third period. An early two man advantage featured Matt Niskanen, Brandon Segal, Severin Blindenbacher and Adam Burish, to give you an idea of the kind of personnel the Stars were using tonight.
To add insult to...well, a meaningless pre-season loss, it was BJ Crombeen, former Dallas Star lost on waivers who scored the OT game winner.
Dallas was without Brad Richards, Brenden Morrow, Tom Wandell, Stephane Robidas and Steve Ott, most of whom had the night off to rest. Brenden Morrow is nursing a groin tweak and Tom Wandell is on a conditioning assignment with the Texas Stars and will see action tomorrow.
The road brought back bad memories for the Richards/Neal/Eriksson line (tonight centered by Jamie Benn). The trio struggled away from Dallas last season when opposing teams had the last change and tonight they were a combined -7 in the loss.
The Stars now have five days off in preparation for their regular season opener in New Jersey on Friday night.