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Stars rally for point, but fall to Blues in OT

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars were sluggish at times Tuesday night, but they found a way to pick up one point in a 2-1 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.

The Stars, who played at Nashville the night before, missed on seven power plays in the game and had just nine shots on goal through two periods. But they were solid in their own and found some energy in the third period and scored late to the tie the game.

“That’s a good point,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Coming off the back-to-back, huge game last night and they are sitting here rested. I thought we played a smart game. If our execution was a little better, we would have come out with two.”

The Stars’ penalty kill, which went 4-4 in regulation, a solid performance in goal from Kari Lehtonen and a late goal from Mattias Janmark helped get the Stars to extra playing time.

But defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored off a blast from the point with the Blues on their fifth power play of the night at 1:11 of overtime to end the Stars’ winning streak at four games.

“Being down until late and ending up with one point it is alright. You always want to get two,” said Lehtonen.

It was a tight game, and the goals and shots were hard to come by. The Blues first goal came when Lehtonen went to play the puck behind the net, the puck bounced off the referee to the front of the net, and the Blues scored into the open goal.

“That falls into the life happens category,” Ruff said.

The two teams combined for only 40 shots on goal despite 12 power plays in the game.

“From my point of view it was nice,” said Lehtonen. “We played a really tight game, they didn’t get too many chances, and that was good.”

The 18 shots on goal for the Stars were a season-low.

“It’s two good teams that played a pretty tight game,” said Ruff.

The Stars (37-15-6) had a five-game road winning streak snapped with Tuesday’s loss. The Blues (33-17-9) won their third straight game, pulling to within four points of second-place Chicago in the Central Division and within five of the division-leading Stars.

“It was obviously a hard-fought game,” said Shattenkirk. “I thought for them to come off the back-to-back and to stay with it and keep us to one goal, it was a tough game for them, but they hung around to get that late goal. It’s always tough against these guys. To get two points and gain one on them is nice.”

The Stars had four power plays, including a brief five-on-three, in the first period but couldn’t take advantage. St. Louis had the best opportunity, but John Klingberg hustled back to break up a shorthanded two-on-zero opportunity for St. Louis. The Stars were outshot 5-3 in the first despite the four power plays and had no shots at even strength.

“We were just a little low on energy. We were a step slow, they beat us to loose pucks, and we spent most of the time chasing the puck down the ice,” Ruff said. “I think we lost every faceoff, which didn’t give us a lot of zone time. The good thing was when they got four in a row (in the second period) we did the same thing to them.”

The Blues took a 1-0 lead 12 seconds into the second period when Lehtonen went to play a dump-in behind the net, but the puck bounced off the referee to Jaden Schwartz, who put it into the open net.

“Just a bad bounce,” said Lehtonen. “I have a lot of respect for those referees. I was just happy to go on with my game and not let it frustrate me. Just didn’t go our way that time and just have to keep moving on.”

The Blues then got four straight power plays in the second, including more than a minute of five-on-three time, but couldn’t extend their lead. The Stars got their fifth power play of the night late in the second but couldn’t take advantage, and the Blues carried their 1-0 lead into the third period.

The Stars played a strong third period and got the equalizer with 6:34 remaining when Valeri Nichushkin set up Janmark, who scored from close range to make it a 1-1 game.

The Stars went on their seventh power play of the night with 2:03 left in regulation but couldn’t take advantage. Jason Demers was called for interference with 12 seconds left on the power play, giving St. Louis a 4-on-3 advantage to start overtime and Shattenkirk and the Blues took advantage to pick up the win.

*The Stars were 6-1-1 since the All-Star break.

*The Stars are 13-5-2 vs. the Central Division.

The Stars are 1-1-2 (4 points) vs. St. Louis. The Blues are 3-1-0 (6 points) vs. the Stars.

*The Blues outshot the Stars 22-18. The Stars had a 48-46 advantage in shot attempts.

*Patrick Sharp led the Stars with four shots on goal. Sharp and Tyler Seguin led Dallas with six shot attempts.

*The Stars were 0-7 on the power play and 4-5 on the penalty kill.

*The Stars won 25 of 60 faceoffs (42 percent).

*Tyler Seguin won 7 of 15 faceoffs (47 percent). Cody Eakin won 4 of 9 (44 percent). Jamie Benn won 4 of 11 (36 percent). Radek Faksa won one of 9 (11 percent).

*John Klingberg led the Stars with 23:42 of ice time.

*Stars head athletic trainer Dave Zeis was hit behind the ear with a puck during Tuesday’s game. The Stars said he was doing fine and that he watched the end of the game from the team’s locker room.

The Stars wrap up their three-game road trip at Arizona Thursday. It will be the first of three meetings between the Stars and Coyotes this season.

Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Eaves

Antoine RousselCody EakinPatrick Sharp

Valeri NichushkinMattias JanmarkAles Hemsky

Vernon FiddlerRadek FaksaCurtis McKenzie

Alex Goligoski
John Klingberg

Johnny OduyaJason Demers

Patrik NemethJordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Travis Moen (lower body), Jason Spezza (upper body)

Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak, Jyrki Jokipakka, Colton Sceviour

This story was not subject to the 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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