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Stars Struggle in 2-1 OT Loss to Ducks

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

There was a lot of talk about the Dallas Stars having some extra motivation for Friday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, the team that knocked them out of last season’s playoffs. It didn’t look way when the puck dropped at American Airlines Center. A Stars team that coach Lindy Ruff said was “below flat,” struggled most of the night in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Ducks.

“We were very fortunate to get a point. That’s the good thing, we got a point, “Ruff said. “The first 40 minutes is as poor as I’ve seen us play. … We were below flat if you ask me. It was pretty disappointing.”

“We found a way to get one point, but that was not Dallas Stars hockey,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “It was pretty much embarrassing.”

The Stars (4-2-4) were listless through the first two periods, managing just nine shots on goal against a team that was playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

"We knew they played last night so we wanted to jump them but that didn’t happen,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley. “We just weren’t clicking tonight. It was unfortunate we did it at home, especially with a team after a tough game the night before.”

It was particularly bad in the second period when the Stars managed just one shot on goal with a total of 5:33 of power play time.

“Flatter than flat,” said Ruff. “It was the worst period of hockey we’ve played in this building since I’ve been here.”

The Stars’ power play went 0-6 in the game and managed just two shots on goal. Anaheim registered three shorthanded shots.

“Once again, embarrassing,” said Benn.

“The personnel that was on the power play had a tough night,” Ruff said. “We didn’t win the puck battles. We weren’t quick enough. When did get the puck, we weren’t quick enough to make good plays. It led to a pretty tough night on the power play.”

Antoine Roussel scored the lone goal for the Stars, tying the game with 5:27 left in the third period to get the Stars to overtime. Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 of 24 shots for the Stars, who fell to 1-0-4 at home this season.

Corey Perry had one goal and one assist for the Ducks, who improved to 9-3-0. Nate Thompson scored the game-winning goal in overtime, deflecting a Perry shot past Lehtonen with 2:30 remaining in the extra period. Frederik Andersen stopped 21 of 22 shots.

“It’s huge. Anytime you go into somebody else’s building and get two points, you did something right,” said Perry. “I thought we responded really well tonight. We played our game right through.”

The Ducks outshot the Stars 11-8 in a scoreless first period. The Stars managed just one shot in the second despite more than five minutes of power play time. Anaheim had just five shots on the second and scored on one of them to take a 1-0 lead. With the two teams playing four-on-four, Perry broke down the right wing and scored off a blast from the circle with 3:15 left in the period.

The Stars scored late in the third and just after their sixth power play of the night expired. Daley sent a cross-ice pass from the right boards to Roussel, who redirected the puck past Andersen from close range.

Anaheim won it in overtime when Perry fired a shot on net from the left circle that Thompson tipped into the net at the 2:30 that stretched the Stars’ winless streak to three games (0-1-2).

Notes: Goligoski toughs it out after big hit

*Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski was shaken up and missed a couple shifts after a big hit from Ducks defenseman Josh Manson, but returned and finished Friday’s game. Manson hit Goligoski into the boards late in the second period.

“I thought he struggled, but he hung in there tough,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of Goligoski. “I don’t think he skated as well as he could have from the hit he took. But he wanted to play. I thought his effort to get through the game was a gutsy effort.”

*Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin had no points and a team-high five shots on goal during his first game with the Texas Stars Friday night. Texas lost 5-2 to Lake Erie in Cleveland. Nichushkin is with Texas on a conditioning assignment. He is expected to play with Texas again Saturday night and, if all goes well, return to Dallas and possibly be ready to play Tuesday against Los Angeles.

Notes

*The Ducks outshot the Stars 24-22.

*Antoine Roussel led the Stars with three shots on goal.

*Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza combined for three shots on goal.

*Seguin and Benn had seven-game points streaks snapped Friday night. Spezza had a six-game points streak snapped.

*The Stars were 0-6 on the power play and 4-4 on the penalty kill.

*The Stars won 31 of 71 faceoffs (44 percent). Vernon Fiddler won 6 of 12 (50 percent). Cody Eakin won 8 of 22 (36 percent). Jason Spezza won 3 of 13 (23 percent). Jamie Benn won 5 of 7 (71 percent).

*Trevor Daley led the Stars with 27:21 of ice time.

Stars lineup

Jamie BennJason SpezzaTyler Seguin
Antoine RousselCody EakinRyan Garbutt
Patrick EavesVernon FiddlerAles Hemsky
Erik ColeShawn HorcoffColton Sceviour

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Jordie BennBrenden Dillon
Kevin ConnautonJamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen
Anders Lindback

Scratched: D Jyrki Jokipakka

Conditioning assignment: Valeri Nichushkin

Injured: D Sergei Gonchar (ankle), D Patrik Nemeth (arm laceration)

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 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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