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Stars score late to tie, but fall in OT to Red Wings

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars rolled out another solid performance Monday night at American Airlines Center, but once again it didn’t add up to two points. But they did get one, falling 3-2 in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings.

"We played a hell of a game,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Might have played our best game in a long time, but just missed too many great opportunities.”

The Stars, who lost in the final three minutes against the New York Rangers in a tightly played game Saturday, had the better of play Monday against the Red Wings. They put 41 shots on goal, but they could only get two past Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard.

"There are a couple point-blank chances,” Stars center Vernon Fiddler said. “We've got to start to find ways to bury those because we could bury teams early and not be in the desperation mode in the last few minutes to get a goal.”

Fiddler, playing in his 800th NHL game, scored late in regulation to tie the game and get it to overtime, but the Red Wings won it 2:33 into the extra period on a power-play goal. With Mattias Janmark in the penalty box for hooking, Pavel Datsyuk picked off a Jason Demers attempt to clear the puck away from the crease and put it into the net to hand the Stars their six loss in the past seven games (1-4-2).

"We're down in the game with two minutes left so from that perspective it's a good point,” said Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski. “You'd like to get the two, but it's kind of big picture too. We want to keep playing consistent hockey whether we're up a goal, down a goal, grinding teams down. The last couple games we've been a lot better at that."

The Stars, who lost in the final three minutes against the New York Rangers in a tightly played game Saturday, had the better of play Monday against the Red Wings. They put 41 shots on goal, but they could only get two past Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard.

Fiddler had one goal and one assist and Colton Sceviour also scored for the Stars. Antti Niemi got the start in goal and stopped 30 of 33 shots. The one point in the game gave the Stars (38-19-7) 83 points and tied them with Chicago, but the Blackhawks hold first place in the Central Division and Western Conference based on their 38-36 edge in the ROW (regulation/overtime wins) tiebreaker.

Jimmy Howard made 39 saves, and Andreas Athanasiou scored two goals for the Red Wings, who won their third straight game and ran their points streak to five (3-0-2). The two points pushed the Red Wings into third place in the Atlantic Division.

“The points are critical. Other teams were winning tonight when I looked at the clock,” said Detroit coach Jeff Blashill. “That’s a really good hockey team; they’ve won lots of games for a reason. They’ll continue to win games the last 20, so to come in here and win is a big thing for us for sure.”

The Stars outshot the Red Wings 15-7 in a scoreless first period. The Stars had some good chances, including some great opportunities during two scrambles in front of the Detroit net but couldn’t get the puck past Howard.

Howard came up big midway through the second period, stopping a point blank shot by Ales Hemsky off the rush.

Detroit broke the scoreless tie at 11:50 of the second when Gustav Nyquist put a shot on net from the slot and Athanasiou put home the rebound to give Detroit a 1-0 lead.

The Stars tied the game late in the second when Vernon Fiddler put a shot on net from close range, and the rebound bounced in off Sceviour and past Howard. The goal was reviewed to determine if Sceviour kicked the puck in. He didn’t.

The Red Wings regained the lead at 6:38 of the third when Athanasiou scored a slick goal off the rush, slipping by Johnny Oduya and then lifting a backhand shot past Niemi.

“We want guys that can make plays out of nothing, and that was certainly a great one,” said Blashill.

Fiddler tied the game with 1:31 left in regulation, putting home the rebound of his own shot to make it a 2-2 game and send it to overtime, where Datsyuk and the Red Wings picked up the extra point.

Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he is excited about what defenseman Kris Russell will bring to the Dallas lineup. The Stars acquired Russell prior to the NHL trade deadline Monday from the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka, forward prospect Brett Pollock and a conditional second-round pick in 2016.

"That will be a great acquisition for us,” Ruff said. “He's a tremendous penalty killer, he's mobile, he's a heck of a competitor. I think he's really going to help that defense of ours. I think he can get up with the play, he can make a difference offensively, and he's fearless when it comes to penalty killing and shot blocking. I've heard nothing but terrific things about him. I'm excited because I think he's going to make a big difference for us."

Stars forward Colton Sceviour has known Russell for a long time.

“We've trained together for a number of years and skated in the summer for probably over ten years now,” Sceviour said. “He's a good guy, and he's going to fit in well here.”

*The Stars are 8-7 in games that have gone beyond regulation, including 6-5 in 3-on-3 overtime and 2-2 in shootouts.

*The Stars are 0-3-1 in their past four home games and 3-6-1 in their past ten at American Airlines Center.

*The Red Wings have won seven straight games in Dallas.

*The Stars outshot the Red Wings 41-33 and had a 72-60 advantage in attempted shots.

*Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza led the Stars with 6 shots on goal. Benn led Dallas with 10 shot attempts.

*Stars forward Colton Sceviour has scored three goals in the past four games.

*The Stars were 0-4 on the power play and 3-4 on the penalty kill.

*The Stars won 41 of 67 faceoffs (61 percent).

*Cody Eakin won 14 of 17 faceoffs (82 percent). Jamie Benn won 6 of 9 (67 percent). Tyler Seguin won 10 of 18 (56 percent). Jason Spezza won 4 of 8 (50 percent). Vernon Fiddler won 4 of 9 (44 percent).

*John Klingberg led the Stars with 26:24 of ice time.

*Monday’s attendance was 18,532, a sellout. That’s the 15th straight sellout for the Stars and the 22nd of the season.

The Stars play at Nashville Tuesday. The Predators have won four straight and are 6-0-3 in their past nine games.

Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Sharp

Mattias JanmarkJason SpezzaValeri Nichushkin

Antoine RousselCody EakinAles Hemsky

Radek FaksaVernon FiddlerColton Sceviour

Alex Goligoski
John Klingberg

Johnny OduyaJason Demers

Patrik NemethJordie Benn

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Patrick Eaves (illness)

Scratched: Kris Russell, Jamie Oleksiak, Travis Moen

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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