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Stars Allow Five Unanswered Goals, Lose 5-3

So no, we did not get two in a row.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The hope going into Sunday evening’s game was that the Dallas Stars would be able to capitalize on Saturday afternoon’s win. And after going up 3-0 in the second, it looked like that might be a thing they could do. Unfortunately for the Stars, score effects exist, and turtling has never been their strong suit.

First period

For much of the first, I was pretty sure this recap was going to sound like I’d gone to a boxing match and not a hockey game. In the first thirty seconds of the period, Ryan Johansen and Cody Eakin squared off for reasons unknown.

About twenty seconds later, Austin Watson cross checked Radek Faksa, who ended up fighting Vern Fiddler about it after being sucker punched by PK Subban. Confused? Me too.

That led to a 5 on 3 the Stars were not able to capitalize on, but they also didn’t give up any short handed breakaways, so I’m inclined to count it as a win.

Curtis McKenzie was able to convince Calle Jarnkrok to fight him, but that was probably the most mismatched fight of the game so far. At least McKenzie looked like he enjoyed himself.

James Neal was called for interference against Cody Eakin, and that’s when the Stars were able to get their first tally, a power play goal from Jamie Benn. The first assist came from Radek Faksa, so he’s one goal away from what I believe will be his first Gordie Howe hat trick.

The Stars were given another 5 on 3 opportunity when Ryan Ellis slashed Stephen Johns and Matt Irwin took a holding penalty against Tyler Seguin. They were able to capitalize on this opportunity, however, and Patrick Sharp got himself on the board.

For a team that’s had it’s special teams struggles this year, the fact that there were 14 penalties called in the first period alone is worrying. Thankfully, they’ve held the worries at bay by scoring on two power plays and killing their own penalties.

2nd period

The second period had fewer penalties, which is probably good for the continued success of the Stars’ special teams. Two penalties from the Predators led to another power play goal, this time for Devin Shore. It was a beauty.

That pass from Brett Ritchie was excellent, and the little knee drop from Shore just solidified this goal as one of my favorite this season.

Roman Josi scored on a lot of confusion in front of the Stars’ net and less than a minute later, Craig Smith got a penalty shot after being hooked on a breakaway. Luckily, Lehtonen was prepared for the shot and handled it easily.

The Stars took two penalties in the final few minutes of the second but were able to keep their penalty kill at 100% for the rest of the period.

Third period

The third period is where things really went off the rails for the Dallas Stars. After leading 3-0 in the second, the Stars allowed 5 unanswered goals and took three shots on goal themselves.

Here are the four goals in the third period:

Roman Josi scored his second of the night, which was a 5 on 3 power play goal for the Predators. And there went the 100% penalty kill the Stars road through the first two periods.

Calle Jarnkrok got as close as Faksa did to a Gordie Howe with a 5v5 goal to tie the game.

Filip Forsberg scored short handed on a turnover from Tyler Seguin. That’s ten short handed goals allowed by the Stars. They were already leading the league, now they’ve got some insurance.

And then Mike Fisher got the empty netter for that extra added insurance.

Every which way a goal can be scored.

This one is a bitter pill for Stars fans to swallow on the start of a three game road trip against the Central Division. They’ll be in Winnipeg on Tuesday night.