Despite going into the third period tied and only losing via special teams goals to one of the top teams in the NHL, the Dallas Stars didn't have much positive to say after Friday night's 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Most of the post-game chatter, that which wasn't focused on the status of injured defenseman Alex Goligoski, revolved around the Stars lack of work rate and jump, especially early.
Eric Nystrom, who continued his blistering hot streak and scored Dallas' only goal of the game, had this to say when asked about what was going on after the game.
"We just didn’t have the jump we normally do. We were kind of straight-legged quite a bit, couldn’t get in on the forecheck. When those guys have time to make plays they are going to make it every single time. We just had a tough time getting our legs going tonight. Those nights happen and it’s disappointing because you’re on a stage like that with a chance to show your best and play your best. That’s the most disappointing thing because we know we are a lot better team than that. It’s just one of those nights."
And from Glen Gulutzan:
"We were outplayed tonight from the start of the game. … "We were stale in the first ten minutes. We weren’t skating, we weren’t moving our feet. I thought our D were stagnant. It took us a while to get going. … I think that was the key, we just didn’t come out and establish our game. Give them credit, they came out and played the way they wanted to play."
After the jump, more on the Stars loss to Pittsburgh, their quick turnaround to playing the Detroit Red Wings today and stuff.
- One last reminder about tonight's watch party. I would be there, but there's that whole 400-mile thing. We'll work on that for next time. [Defending Big D]
- Mike Heika picked up on the theme and wrote about how the Stars must deal with both the work rate and the probable lack of Goligoski for tonight's game against the Wings in this paywalled story. [DallasNews.com]
- You know, Mark Stepneski makes a decent point that as mediocre as they looked, they held the lead until they started to get into penalty trouble. That's not the world's worst sign. [ESPN Dallas]
- Former Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen says he struggled with confidence and was thinking too much at the end of his career in Dallas. I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you. [DallasNews.com]
- The Penguins writers focused on the performance of James Neal, who continued the trend of when he's hot, he scores any variety of lucky bounce, timely goals. But hey, they all count. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]
- Two installments of the behind-the-scenes photo series from the official site today, one from practice on Thursday and one from Friday's game. [DallasStars.com/DallasStars.com]
- Sheldon Souray ended up on the All-Star ballot and is drawing more and more attention from the national media, and rightly so. [NHL.com]
- Mac Engel gets a quick chat with Glen Gulutzan sometime before Friday's game. I liked his thoughts on Benn in particular. [FWST]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: Wings goalie Jimmy Howard continued to play well and the depth scoring was able to solve Nikolai Khabibulin as the Wings shut out the Edmonton Oilers 3-0. [Detroit Free Press]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: Johan Franzen has been on a tear recently, and Detroit coach Mike Babcock is hoping this becomes his normal play instead of just a hot streak. [MLive.com]
- Around the Pacific Division: The Anaheim Ducks tried really, really hard to give up their lead to the Vancouver Canucks but held on for a 4-3 victory. [Los Angeles Times]
- Here's one of the great secrets of refereeing, not just in the NHL but in any sport: If you say something with enough authority, the players and rest of the ancillary personnel will take it as fact. Stephen Walkom made up a goalie interference rule that didn't exist during the last Winter Classic, and Puck Daddy catches Kerry Fraser with some interesting interpretations of the delay of game and advancing the puck rules. [Puck Daddy]
- Glen Gulutzan addresses a whole variety of post-game questions, from the health of Goligoski and Mark Fistric to the Stars work rate to what he thought of the decision to give Matt Cooke a penalty shot.