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Slow start buries Stars again in 4-1 loss to Jets

The Stars fall behind by three goals early and never recover as home winning streak ends

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars were hoping for a better start in Monday's rematch with the Winnipeg Jets. They didn't get it. The Jets jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead and went on to beat the Stars 4-1 at American Airlines Center.

It looked a lot like last Thursday's game in Winnipeg when the Jets jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first and went on to beat the Stars 5-2.

On Monday, the Jets scored 26 seconds into the game, tallied on the power play just under five minutes later, and then scored in the final minute of the period on a two-on-one rush to grab that three-goal lead.

 

[WATCH: Full Stars-Jets highlights]

 

"It's embarrassing," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "It seems like you can pretty much win a hockey game in the first period these days. They've done it to us twice now. We did it to Buffalo last game. There's no excuse. It is embarrassing. They pretty much won the game in the first period."

"The start is disappointing to me because it is the same players that started the same way. That's the disappointing part," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "Jamie Benn just about carried us on his back the whole game. He was unbelievable. We need more people dug in and following that direction. We didn't have enough again at the start when the temperature was white hot. We just had the same performances by the same guys."

Benn scored the lone goal for the Stars who had a five-game home winning streak snapped and fell to 8-7-0 on the season. Ben Bishop got the start in goal and stopped 22 of 25 shots.

Video: WPG@DAL: Benn scores PPG in 600th NHL game

"He was like our team. He was off early and got going later," Hitchcock said of Bishop. "He made three big saves in the second and two big saves in the third and gave us a chance to make a comeback."

Mark Scheifele scored two goals, Blake Wheeler recorded four assists, and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 33 shots for the Jets who extended their points streak to eight games (5-0-3) and improved to 8-3-3 on the season.

"We got off to a fast start," Wheeler said. "You come into a tough building against a really good hockey team and score on the first shift, it helps things. It helps kind of just settle you into your game, and so we're happy with the start."

The Jets scored just 26 seconds into the game when Scheifele scored from the right circle on the rush. The Jets made it 2-0 at the 5:12 mark by cashing in on their first power play of the night when Patrik Laine scored on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.

The Stars had a couple of opportunities to cut into the lead, but they were thwarted by Hellebuyck who made a nice glove save on a Tyler Seguin shot and then had a slick poke check to deny a chance to Alexander Radulov.

The Jets extended the lead to 3-0 late in the period when Wheeler broke into the Dallas zone, Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis slipped creating a two-on-one and Wheeler set up Kyle Connor who scored from close range with 56 seconds left in the first.

Video: WPG@DAL: Bishop turns away Ehlers, Little

"That's a tough way [for them] to go into the intermission," Wheeler said. "You're down two, and you give up a third. The momentum's already kind of on our side. That's a big lead. I thought that was a big goal."

"You always talk about - since you're little - you never give up a goal in the first minute of a period and the last minute of a period," Bishop said. "You're supposed to hunker down there, and we give up a goal in the first minute and the last minute. We can't be happy with that."

The Stars cut the lead to 3-1 in the second period by taking advantage of their first power play of the game. John Klingberg's shot from the point went wide, and Benn put the rebound in the net off the end boards past Hellebuyck. The Jets challenged the goal for interference, and they were unsuccessful.

The Stars had another chance on the power play later in the period, and Benn had a great chance, but Hellebuyck made a nice pad save on the close-range bid.

"The difference was we never got the second goal in the second period when we had all the scoring chances," said Hitchcock. "Their ability to defend the front of the net is stronger than ours is and that's why they're negating goals against. We never got any second or third whacks in front of the net. We had lots of activity but never got those second or third whacks."

The Stars had a power play in the final minute of the game and had a six-on-four advantage with Bishop out for an extra attacker, but Scheifele scored into an empty net to make it a 4-1 final.

Video: WPG@DAL: Bishop makes consecutive saves in the 3rd

 

Notes
  • The Stars fell to 1-5-0 in the Central Division.

  • The Jets are 4-0-0 in the Central.

  • The Stars outshot the Jets 34-26. The Jets had a 54-51 edge in shot attempts.

  • Stars captain Jamie Benn had a game-high 11 shots on goal.

  • Stars forward Alexander Radulov picked up an assist in the game, extending his points streak to six games (four goals, five assists).

  • The Stars were 1-4 on the power play and 2-3 on the penalty kill.

  • The Stars 35 of 58 faceoffs (60 percent). Tyler Seguin won 13 of 16 (81 percent). Jason Spezza won 7 of 10 (70 percent). Jamie Benn won 7 of 11 (64 percent).

  • Esa Lindell led the Stars with 24:03 of ice time.

  • Center Martin Hanzal played 10:22 in his first game back from a lower-body injury that had sideline him for three games.

  • Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak suited up as a forward in the game. He played seven shifts for a total of 4:44 in ice time.

Video: Hitchcock reacts to home loss

 

What's Next

The Stars close out their homestand Friday when they take on the New York Islanders at American Airlines Center. This will be the first of two meetings between the Stars and Islanders this season. The Islanders are 8-5-1 and have won six of their past eight games (6-2-0).

Video: Benn on 'embarrassing' home loss

 

Stars Lineup

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov 
Antoine Roussel - Jason Spezza - Remi Elie 
Jason Dickinson - Mattias Janmark - Devin Shore 
Jamie Oleksiak - Martin Hanzal - Gemel Smith

Marc Methot - John Klingberg 
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn 
Esa Lindell - Stephen Johns

Ben Bishop 
Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: None 
Injured: Radek Faksa (lower body), Tyler Pitlick (upper body), Brett Ritchie (upper body)

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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