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."