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Slow start dooms Stars in 5-2 loss to Jets

Tough defeat leaves Dallas with a 2-3-0 record to close its five-game road trip

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

A slow start proved costly as the Dallas Stars finished a five-game road trip with a 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night at Bell MTS Place.

The Jets scored three goals, including two on the power play, in just over four minutes during the first period to take a 3-0 lead and the Stars could never catch up.


[WATCH: All Stars vs. Jets highlights]


"We weren't ready to play at the start. That's on me," said coach Ken Hitchcock. "We had too many passengers today. You could see it in our execution. Even when we got it to 3-2, we weren't executing at a high level. Kudos to them, but we were not ready to compete at the start of the game at the level that the game was at."

"We can't start the way we started today. In this league today if you are down 3-0 it is hard to come back," said Stars forward Alexander Radulov. "We lost today, so we have to look at ourselves in the mirror, regroup, and get ready for the next one."

The loss left the Stars with a 2-3-0 record on the five-game trip and dropped them to 7-6-0 on the season, including 3-5-0 on the road.

"It's not what we wanted. We want to be over .500 for sure," Stars defenseman Marc Methot said of the road trip. "There are lessons to be learned, and I am sure we are going to hear about them when we get back. That is part of the process of being a good team."

Video: DAL@WPG: Radulov snaps backhander past Hellebuyck

Radulov and Mattias Janmark scored goals, and Ben Bishop stopped 22 of 26 shots for the Stars who fell to 1-4-0 against the Central Division.

Mark Scheifele scored three goals, Blake Wheeler chipped in three assists, and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 21 shots for the Jets who extended their points streak to six games (4-0-2) and improved to 7-3-2 on the season.

"We were ready to play," Scheifele said. "Obviously, we want to have a good start every game, and it's just a matter of ramping ourselves up before we get out there and just being prepared."

The Jets scored three goals -- two on the power play -- in a 4:18 span of the first period to take a 3-0 lead.

With Stars forward Jason Dickinson in the penalty box for holding, Scheifele scored on a one-timer from the left circle to make it 1-0 at the 10:58 mark. A little more than two minutes later, Stars defenseman Esa Lindell's clearing attempt ended up on the stick of Patrik Laine who rifled a shot past Bishop from the slot and the Jets were up 2-0 at the 13:04 mark. After Stars defenseman Greg Pateryn took a cross checking penalty, the Jets went on their second power play and cashed in when Tyler Myers scored on a blast through traffic to put the Jets up 3-0 at 15:16 of the first.

But the Stars pushed back late in the period and cut the lead to 3-1 when Radulov scored off a close-range backhand shot 2:01 before the first intermission.

Video: DAL@WPG: Janmark goes top shelf on Hellebuyck

The Jets thought they had extended their lead to 4-1 at the 15:40 mark of the second when Brandon Tanev scored from the slot. But the Stars challenged for goaltender interference because Bishop's stick got caught up with Scheiefele and Bishop eventually had to drop the stick just before the goal was scored. The Stars won the challenge, and it remained a 3-1 game.

"I didn't agree with it," Scheifele said. "It's over with, so I won't beat a dead horse. We got the win, and that's all that matters."

Less than three minutes later, the Stars scored to cut the lead to 3-2. Janmark scored through a Jason Spezza screen on the rush with 1:34 left in the period and it was now a one-goal game heading into the third period.

The Jets extended the lead to 4-1 at the 1:47 mark of the third when Josh Morrissey put a shot on net from the left point, and it bounced off Sheifele, went up in the air and over Bishop and into the net.

The Jets did a nice job of shutting things down the rest of the way, limiting the Stars to just five shots on goal in the third. Dallas pulled Bishop late for an extra attacker and Scheifele scored into the empty net with 1:00 remaining to make it a 5-2 final.

"I'm disappointed. Win or lose, I am disappointed the way we played today," Hitchcock said. "Like I said, it's on me, and it is my job to fix it."

Video: DAL@WPG: Bishop makes a series of great saves


Notes: Benn, Byfuglien drop gloves
  • There were two spirited fights in Thursday's game. Stars forward Gemel Smith and Winnipeg forward Brenden Lemieux dropped the gloves in the first period. Then in the second period, Stars captain Jamie Benn and Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien went at it after Byfuglien put a hard hit on Stars forward Alexander Radulov.

  • Jets rookie Kyle Connor got a penalty shot after being pulled down on a breakaway by Stars defenseman Greg Pateryn at 15:01 of the third period with Winnipeg leading 4-2. Connor never got a puck on net during the penalty shot. He lost the puck while stickhandling.

  • Radulov ran his goal-scoring streak to four games with his goal late in the first period. Radulov has seven points (four goals, three assists) in the past four games.

  • The Jets outshot the Stars 27-23 and had a 53-49 edge in shot attempts.

  • The Stars were 1-for-3 on the penalty kill.

  • The Stars had no power-play opportunities in the game.

  • The Stars won 35 of 71 faceoffs (49 percent). Tyler Seguin won 14 of 28 (50 percent). Radek Faksa won 8 of 16 (50 percent). Mattias Janmark won 5 of 8 (63 percent). Jason Spezza won 5 of 11 (45 percent).

  • John Klingberg led the Stars with 23:24 of ice time.

  • Center Martin Hanzal (lower body) and RW Brett Ritchie (upper body) both missed Thursday's game. They are day to day.

Video: Stars wrap up road trip in Winnipeg


What's Next

The Stars return home for a three-game homestand that begins Saturday against Buffalo. The Stars also play Winnipeg and New York Islanders during the homestand. The Stars are 4-1-0 at home this season and have won four straight at American Airlines Center since losing to Vegas on opening night.

Video: Stars can't come back against Jets


Stars Lineup

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Antoine Roussel - Jason Spezza - Remi Elie
Jason Dickinson - Mattias Janmark - Devin Shore
Gemel Smith - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick

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

Ben Bishop
Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak
Injured: Martin Hanzal (lower 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 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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