Least Against the East

Valeri Nichushkin and the Stars need to get back on their feet before the season slips by them. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch
Valeri Nichushkin and the Stars need to get back on their feet. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By Will Martin

Last November 5th when the Dallas Stars were in the middle of a road trip it would be the efforts of Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley getting goals via a shootout win over the Boston Bruins.

Last Thursday night it was an emotional return for Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith to Dallas.

A crowd of close to 17,000 came to root for both teams and to see who would break out from their doldrums first.

Boston has played at a 5-5 clip despite being in 1st place in the Atlantic while the Stars had lost 6 of 7 in the new year and 3-6-1 in their last ten. Something had to give.

Coming off a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday I waited to see if momentum would carry over into this game.

Not exactly.

The first 39 minutes and 56 seconds were even-steven as both teams had attempted 23 shots apiece and both Kari Lehtonen and Chad Johnson were making incredible stops of shots by glove, thigh, and stick.

David Krejci would strike first at 19:56 with his tenth goal of the season, assisted by Milan Lucic with point number 19 and a 1-0 lead after an inability by Alex Goligoski to clear the puck.

“You want to get out of that period,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “I thought all we needed was a little better coverage and not allowing that pass out of the corner.”

Dallas answered back quickly with a power play score 78 seconds into the third period when Erik Cole would connect on his 13th score of the year. Tyler Seguin and Alex Goligoski with assists-point number 23 for Tyler and 14 for Alex.

Two minutes later Bruce Marchand would give the Bruins a lead they would not relinquish with his 12th goal as Patrice Bergeron fed with his 17th point of the season.  The lead became 3-1 when Milan Lucic wristed his 13th goal at 15:46 for a 3-1 Boston lead. Assists to Krejci (28) and Torey Krug (14).

71 seconds away from game’s end Jamie Benn would rattle home his 17th goal that bounced at an angle and bounced past Chad Johnson for a 3-2 Boston lead.

With 16 seconds left Patrice Bergeron added an empty netter for a 4-2 final. Patrice Bergeron, David Krecji, and Milan Lucic each collected two points in the victory.

The loss puts Dallas at 21-19-7 despite a 37 save night for Kari Lehtonen while Boston improved to 30-15-2. Chad Johnson collected 32 saves for the Bruins as they maintain their 1st place lead in the Atlantic.

There’s fixing to be done and now time is of the essence for this young and learning team.