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Stars give 'everything they had' but lose in OT

Third period lead slips away in 4-3 loss to Washington

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars played the kind of game they were hoping for Saturday night against the league-leading Washington Capitals, but it only added up to one point. The Stars let a 3-1 lead slip away in the third period and then fell, 4-3, in overtime at American Airlines Center.

"We emptied the tank," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "It's a disappointing loss."

Ruff had been pressing his team to raise its compete level and the Stars delivered Saturday night, building a 3-1 lead through the first two periods in a physical battle with the Capitals. But the Stars took back-to-back penalties early in the third and Washington scored on both against Dallas' struggling penalty kill to tie the game.

Then in overtime, the Stars lost the opening faceoff, and Evgeny Kuznetsov set up Jay Beagle, who scored from close range 19 seconds into the extra period to give Washington the two points.

"We kind of shot ourselves in the foot," said Stars forward Adam Cracknell. "I don't think it was just the penalties. We kind of got away from getting the pucks in deep, and it just trickles into that. It's nice to get a point, but right now one is just not enough for us."

Cracknell, Patrick Eaves, and Jamie Benn scored goals for the Stars, and Kari Lehtonen stopped 18 of 22 shots. The Stars lost for the fourth time in the past five games (1-3-1) and are 19-20-9 on the season. They fell to 2-9 in three-on-three overtime this season.

The Capitals (31-9-6) ran their points streak to 13 games (11-0-2) and snapped a nine-game losing streak to Dallas, defeating the Stars for the first time since Oct. 25, 2008.

"It's been a long time obviously until we've won here," Beagle said. "We made a little bit of a deal of that and said let's get a win. And we did."

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Stars look to get on track with six-game homestand

Lehtonen in goal, Ritchie and McKenzie back in the lineup tonight vs. Capitals

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars open a stretch of six straight games at home when they take on the Washington Capitals tonight at American Airlines Center.

It's a big stretch of games for the Stars, who are 19-20-8 on the season and sitting five points out of a playoff spot after Friday's games.

"It's huge for us, especially the three games before the All-Star break," said Stars center Radek Faksa. "We need to get back on the track and get as many points as we can and get closer to a playoff spot."

The Stars, who are coming off a 1-2-0 road trip, are 12-7-4 at home. They posted a 3-1-1 record in their last extended homestand back in December.

"Every game is huge for us, and we've played better hockey at home," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "We've got to establish a game that allows us to win, which we've done for the most part when we are playing here. This is our building, and we want to dictate play."

They'll face a stiff challenge tonight in the Capitals, who come into tonight's game on a 12-game points streak (10-0-2). Washington has scored seven goals in both of their past two games and 54 goals over the past 11 (4.91 per game).

"We have to limit their opportunities, and we have to limit the opportunities for their better players," Ruff said. "We're going to have to play a game where if you want to look at 50-50 battles, one-on-one battles, our determination is going to have to be greater. They're a good team at that, so it is going to be a hard contest."

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Stars-Capitals Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars
Saturday, January 21
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (19-20-8) lost 3-0 to the New York Islanders in Brooklyn Thursday. Kari Lehtonen stopped 33 of 35 shots but the Stars, who spent almost 13 minutes of the game killing penalties, couldn't generate any offense against the Islanders and goaltender Thomas Greiss.

"I didn't think our puck battle and puck desperation was good enough," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "When you don't have the puck, you don't draw enough penalties, and we took way too many penalties including a couple careless ones. That took too many of our players out of the game."

The Stars lost for the third time in their past four games and fell to 3-6-1 in their past ten.

The Stars recalled defenseman Julius Honka from the Texas Stars (AHL) Friday and placed defenseman Johnny Oduya (lower body) on injured reserve.

The Stars, who went 1-2-0 on a three-game road trip, play their next six games at home.

Injuries: D Johnny Oduya (lower body), Jamie Oleksiak (hand), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

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Focus on compete

Lindy Ruff stresses compete level as Stars prepare to kick off stretch of six straight games at home

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Early in Friday's practice in Frisco, Stars coach Lindy Ruff spent a lot of time in front of the whiteboard near the players' benches and just talked. Ruff's message for the day.

Compete," Ruff said. "Compete."

Ruff didn't like his team's compete in Thursday's 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders in Brooklyn that sent the Stars home with a 1-2-0 record on their latest road trip. In particular was the Stars' late power play with the score still 1-0 and Dallas with a good opportunity to tie. But the Stars didn't, and they gave up a three-on-one shorthanded rush and then a shorthanded breakaway that Islanders captain John Tavares buried to extend the lead to 2-0.

"When we lose a battle to give up a three-on-one and then a breakaway, that's not good hockey," Ruff said. "At that time of the game, you've got to get on the right side of the puck, you've got to win your battle. You've got to be more determined that that battle is ours and put ourselves to in a position to get a point, to tie it and move on and maybe getting that second one."

But the Stars ended up with no points, losing for the third time in the past four games. Since a season-best three-game winning streak (Dec. 23-29), the Stars have gone 3-6-1 over their past ten games and dropped to 19-20-8 on the season.

"We have to put some wins together. Every game is really important," defenseman Dan Hamhuis said. "We haven't come out with results, and we haven't played as well as we can to earn those results. We've had spurts of it but not consistent enough to deserve to have a better record."

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Stars recall Julius Honka from Texas

Defenseman Johnny Oduya placed on injured reserve

by Dallas Stars Staff / Press Releases

Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Julius Honka from the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League. The team has also placed defenseman Johnny Oduya  on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Jan. 17.

Honka, 21, has registered 21 points (5-16=21) in 30 games with Texas this season. He shares second on the club in assists (16) and ranks fourth on the club in points (21). Among team defenseman, he leads all blueliners in points, goals and assists. Honka has skated in eight games for Dallas this season, recording three assists (0-3=3) and made his NHL debut on Nov. 21 vs. Minnesota, registering an assist (0-1=1) in his first career NHL contest. 

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound native of Jyvaskyla, Finland was originally selected by Dallas in the first round (14th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.

Oduya, 35, ranks second on Dallas this season in blocked shots (80) and shorthanded TOI/G (2:33). The defenseman has skated in 36 games during the 2016-17 campaign and has registered seven points (1-6=7).

The 6-foot, 195-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden was signed by Dallas as a free agent on July 15, 2015.

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Stars fall to Islanders, 3-0

Lehtonen shines in goal but Stars can't generate offense in final game of road trip

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen was brilliant in Brooklyn Thursday night, but he didn't get any goal support, and the Stars fell, 3-0, to the New York Islanders at Barclays Center.

Lehtonen stopped 33 of 35 shots, including all 18 he faced while the Stars were shorthanded, in what was probably one of his best performances of the season. Only Islanders captain John Tavares scored on Lehtonen, once in the first period after a pretty move generated a great chance and then late in the third on a shorthanded breakaway.

"Kari was very good," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "He gave us a great chance."

But you can't win if you don't score and the Stars came up empty against the Islanders and goaltender Thomas Greiss, who stopped 23 shots for his second consecutive shutout.

It didn't help that the Stars spent almost 13 minutes - more than one-fifth of the game - killing penalties against the Islanders, who had a 7-3 edge in power plays.

"I didn't think our puck battle and puck desperation was good enough," Ruff said. "When you don't have the puck, you don't draw enough penalties, and we took way too many penalties including a couple careless ones. That took too many of our players out of the game."

The Stars went 1-2-0 on their three-game road trip and fell to 19-20-8 on the season. They have lost three of their past four games overall and are 3-6-1 in their past ten. The Stars are 3-12-4 in games following wins, which is why they have struggled to string together victories and go on a good run.

"It's frustrating," said Stars center Jason Spezza. "We need to pick up points. We're in a dogfight, and there are a lot of teams in that pack with us. We have to win games; we have to learn how to win consecutive games. We've got to find a way to get points."

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Stars-Islanders Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars at New York Islanders
Thursday, January 19
6:00 p.m.  
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (19-19-8) won 7-6 over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night. The Stars fell behind 1-0 just 27 seconds into the game but bounced back to build a 3-1 lead after one period and a 7-3 advantage after two. They then held off a furious Rangers rally in the third to snap a two-game losing streak.

"It's nice to put some pucks in the net," said Stars forward Patrick Sharp, who scored two goals. "It's the third game in a row we've given up a quick one. Credit the power play for getting it right back and then we were able to score quickly after. It's frustrating that we need to score seven goals to win the game, but right now we'll take a win whatever way we can."

The Stars, who had lost 4-1 at Buffalo Monday, improved to 2-3-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

Defenseman Johnny Oduya left Tuesday's game midway through the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. He is out for Thursday's game.

The NHL Department of Player Safety fined Rangers forward Chris Kreider $5,000 - the maximum allowable under the CBA - for hitting Stars forward Cody Eakin with his helmet during a fight.

Thursday's game wraps up a three-game road trip for the Stars.

Injuries: D Johnny Oduya (lower body) is out. D Jamie Oleksiak (hand), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

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Stars hold on for 7-6 win over Rangers

Patrick Sharp scores twice, Cody Eakin registers Gordie Howe hat trick

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

It was no Picasso, but it was two points for the Dallas Stars. And it was a roller coaster ride. The Stars built a four-goal lead through two periods and then had to hang on for a 7-6 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night.

"Stars hockey," said Stars forward Patrick Sharp. "It seems like we've been in that situation a few times. We'd like to be better protecting the lead, but I feel a lot better getting out of here with the two points than going to overtime or blowing that one."

The Stars shook off an early goal by the Rangers to build a 3-1 lead after one period and extended it to 7-3 through 40 minutes. But New York poured it on in the third, scoring three times to cut the lead to 7-6 and outshooting the Stars 24-4, including three shots in the final five seconds.

"I wouldn't say it was our strongest game, but we came in with a fresh mindset and did what we had to do," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "After last game which we didn't have the greatest effort and a little embarrassing, we came in here and got off to a strong start. They had a couple good pushes. Obviously, they had a good third period, but we did what we had to do. We hunkered down to the end and found a way to get two points."

Sharp scored two goals in the game, Benn and Patrick Eaves both had one goal and two assists, and Cody Eakin registered a Gordie Howe hat trick with one goal, one assist, and a fight. Antoine Roussel and Adam Cracknell also scored goals. Radek Faksa and Lauri Korpikoski both had two assists.

Antti Niemi got the start in goal but was pulled in the third period after allowing six goals on 28 shots. Kari Lehtonen played the rest of the way and stopped all eleven shots he faced. The Stars snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 19-19-8 on the season.

"I'd like to see us put some games together," Sharp said. "It seems like when our backs are against the wall, and we need a win, we come out with a great effort. It would be nice to gather up some points and get back into contention because it is only going to get tougher as the season goes on."

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Texas Stars Report

Denis Gurianov returns from World Juniors, scores game-winner in OT at San Antonio

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Texas Stars won two of four games over the past week (2-2-0) are 18-15-3 on the season, ranking sixth in the AHL's Pacific Division. Forward Denis Gurianov returned to the team from the World Juniors and recorded one goal and one assist, including the game-winner in overtime against San Antonio on Monday. Here is the latest on the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars.

Wednesday, January 11: Texas 3, Ontario 1

The Stars opened a three-game road trip with a 3-1 win at Ontario on Wednesday. The Reign led 1-0 after one period, but Brendan Ranford's goal tied the game in the second period, and Matej Stransky and Remi Elie (empty net) scored in the third to push Texas to the victory. Max Lagace stopped 21 of 22 shots for Texas, and Jack Campbell stopped 20 of 22 shots for Ontario.

Friday, January 13: Tucson 5, Texas 3

The Stars fell behind 2-0 in Tucson Friday night and could never catch up, falling 5-3 to the Roadrunners. Brandon DeFazio scored all three goals for Texas and Julius Honka and Travis Morin both had two assists. Max Lagace stopped 23 of 27 shots.

Saturday, January 14: Tucson 3, Texas 2

The Stars couldn't overcome a 3-0 deficit and fell 3-2 in Tucson Saturday. Julius Honka scored to cut the lead to 3-1 in the second and Remi Elie scored early in the third to make it a 3-2 game, but the Stars could not get the equalizer. Landon Bow got the start in goal and stopped 16 of 19 shots. Tucson goaltender Adin Hill stopped 36 of 38 shots.

Monday, January 16: Texas 4, San Antonio 3 (OT)

Denis Gurianov scored nine seconds into overtime to lift the Stars to a 4-3 win at San Antonio Monday. Gurianov stole the puck at the Rampage blue line and then tallied on a breakaway for his fifth goal of the season. Matej Stransky scored two goals, and Mattias Backman also scored for Texas. Landon Bow stopped 21 of 24 shots.

Tweet from @TexasStars: The kid's got moves ������������#txstars #TEXvsSA #DenisTheMenace pic.twitter.com/WWnpwCBoHv

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Stars-Rangers Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars at New York Rangers
Tuesday, January 17
6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (18-19-8) opened a three-game road trip with a 4-1 loss at Buffalo Monday afternoon. The Stars fell behind 1-0 just 19 seconds into the game and were down 2-0 by the 12:34 mark of the first period. Both goals came off Dallas turnovers.

"It was definitely a slow start," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "They jumped on us early, and we turned a couple of pucks over. Their energy as a team was a lot better than ours. That's about as slow as I have seen our team."

Radek Faksa scored the lone goal, and Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 shots for the Stars, who fell to 3-8-2 in their past 13 road games and 2-5-1 in their past eight games overall.

"We've got to put this behind us because we are going into a tough building to play [Tuesday] against a great Rangers team," said Stars forward Patrick Sharp. "No one is going to feel sorry for us. We've got to dig ourselves out of this hole and play better hockey."

Injuries: D Jamie Oleksiak (hand), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

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