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Penalties plague Stars in 2-1 loss to Blue Jackets

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Cutting down on penalties was a big emphasis for the Dallas Stars this season. So, far, that goal has yet to be met. A series of Dallas penalties in the second period changed momentum in the game Monday night, allowing the Columbus Blue Jackets to rally for a 2-1 victory over the Stars at Nationwide Arena.

The loss extended the Stars’ winless streak to three games (0-2-1) and dropped them to 2-3-1 on the season.

“If you are going to take eight minors in a game, or nine minors in a game you are probably not going to win. That’s what happened today,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We’ve got to be careful with our sticks, we can’t be reaching in the offensive zone. We’re killing ourselves. You can do whatever you want system-wise and play as hard as you want, but if you are going to take that many penalties this is the result.”

The Stars survived three penalties in the first, but the big turning point came eight minutes into the second period. With the Stars leading 1-0 on a Philip Larsen power play goal, Vernon Fiddler took a hooking minor and high sticking minor on the same play, giving Columbus a 4:00 power play. Just 42 seconds later Tom Wandell was called for closing his hand on the puck during a faceoff. That gave the Blue Jackets a full two minutes of five-on-three time. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen and the Stars penalty killing unit were able to kill it off, but the Blue Jackets kept coming.

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