The road-weary Dallas Stars might have taken an early lead in their last game before a five-day break, except for a coach's challenge and a goalie-interference ruling that robbed John Klingberg of his tally. That reversed goal would prove to be the margin of victory for the Minnesota Wild, who outlasted the Stars 2-1 in American Airlines Center last night.
Gerry Fraley examines the stretch of nine games in 15 days (3-4-2) that put the first real crimp in the tired team's winning ways so far this season:
A weary team failed to take care of the final matter of business before a five-day break, losing 2-1 to Minnesota at American Airlines Center. The Stars wore down after a strong first period, giving away two goals in a sloppy second period.
"We had some tough plays, some tough puck management that cost us," coach Lindy Ruff said of the second-period performance.
The Stars' struggles of the past two weeks have left the door ajar for the Chicago Blackhawks, who have a chance to catch up to the Central Division leaders during the three games they will play during the Stars' five days off.
"We're not happy with how we're playing," forward Jason Spezza said. "We need to get our game back ... or we're going to watch everybody come up from behind us in the standings without being able to do anything about it."
The shooters made it easy on [goalie Devan] Dubnyk, Ruff said. They launched too many straight-as-a-string shots. There was no deception, no moves that could have gotten Dubnyk off balance.
"The plays were there to be made," Ruff said. "We weren't shooting the puck well."
Read more at Fraley's Dallas Morning News blog. [SportsDayDFW]
Here's more of what Speznasty had to say in the postgame interview.
When you're feeling down and blue about a bad call or pass or two, just remember Razor is here to sing your feelings for you. Hear him hold forth on indiscriminate puck-peddling and specious decisions made in and around the goaltender habitat.
Last night, in slaughter:
- The Nashville Predators got blanked by the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 in Glendale. [On the Forecheck]
- The St. Louis Blues squeezed out a 2-1 shootout victory over the Los Angeles Kings on the second night of a West Coast back-to-back. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
It took Ryan Johansen two minutes and 35 seconds to score his first goal as a Predator on Friday night. It was OK, I guess.
Yeaaaaah, I think Johansen will fit in just fine. https://t.co/YmfmN0PcF6— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) January 9, 2016
Meanwhile, Alex Ovechkin scored goals 498 and 499 against the New York Rangers yesterday – and the Washington Capitals captain may get to score the 500th on home ice tonight against the Ottawa Senators. [ESPN]
The Toronto Maple Leafs are really onto something here.
Join us for the annual #Leafs outdoor practice. #TMLtalk INFO → https://t.co/Wkg3JeKaTh pic.twitter.com/EVpgNfH4b6— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 9, 2016
As you already know, the 2016 All-Star Game will use the format of 3-on-3 overtime, and Central Division ASG coach Lindy Ruff apologizes to the goalies in advance. [Dallas Morning News]
What, me goalie worry? Philippe Desrosiers earned his first AHL win Friday night in a 3-1 contest against the Chicago Wolves.
Stars Shake Up Wolves on Elvis Night, 3-1. RECAP brought to you be UFCU; https://t.co/vTLtgbRTSE pic.twitter.com/fbu8bU76Zt— Texas Stars Hockey (@TexasStars) January 9, 2016
Then he earned his second – plus Third Star of the Game – on a back-to-back, and stopping 48 of 50 shots.
Desrosiers, Ritchie Lead Stars to 5-2 Win. RECAP brought to you by UFCU; https://t.co/yexzijsvVL pic.twitter.com/v3iHWwYjzL— Texas Stars Hockey (@TexasStars) January 10, 2016
The NHL's current netminders are the best and most creative in history, says Jared Clinton – who talked with former NHL'er and current goaltending guru Steve Valiquette about the making of the Greatest Goalie Generation. [The Hockey News]
The Blues have called up an AHL prospect after injured goalie Jake Allen left Friday night's game against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Blues have recalled goalie Jordan Binnington from the Chicago Wolves. https://t.co/X5T59ikBa3 pic.twitter.com/OmYKd360r3— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) January 9, 2016
Montreal Canadiens G Carey Price will not return to the line-up until after the All-Star break – February at the earliest, for those who are marking their calendars. [CBC]
In New Jersey Devils injuries, which could almost be their own category at this point, winger Jiri Tlusty has been placed on IR after suffering an upper-body owie in a loss to the Boston Bruins on Friday.
Devils' injury woes continue as Tlusty lands on IR https://t.co/Ce3QaCqI9P pic.twitter.com/K8p5O84zUU— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) January 9, 2016
Speaking of the Bruins, Friday's victory over the Devils makes them the second team (after the Canadiens) to reach their 3,000th win in franchise history. [ESPN]
In other reversals, the Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins are starting to meet each other on the way down (and up). [NHL]
First: Is "Lion King Cam" an actual thing? Second: Do the Philadelphia Flyers' insurance people know about it?
Newest scoreboard thing is a recipe for disaster. pic.twitter.com/wXkOKDLclC— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) January 9, 2016
Finally: The website FFScoreboards has recreated every Jumbotron in every NHL arena in glorious high definition. Bar Down takes a look at this impeccable giant-screen collection (no two of them alike), including the world-famous feature in the Stars' own barn.
This website recreated every NHL scoreboard in stunning HD pictures. MORE@ https://t.co/fHpO9x1crL pic.twitter.com/nCOZJVo3a9— BarDown (@BarDown) January 9, 2016