Exhausted Stars fall to Avalanche
It was a crucial encounter at the American Airlines Center in Texas as the Stars welcomed the Colorado Avalanche. Just a point separated the 2 sides going into the game, both sat just outside the very tight playoff picture.
The Stars landed in Dallas on the morning of the Avs game after travelling out West to face the Ducks and the Kings, where they took 1 win away. Luckily for the Stars, Colorado’s star centre Matt Duchene, who caused a lot of problems earlier in the season, was out of the line-up.
You could tell that the Stars had landed in Dallas several hours prior to face-off as they showed poor puck control and retention, and struggled to match up to the Avs' physicality. Recording just 1 shot on goal in the opening period, the Stars went to the locker rooms a goal down as David Jones capitalised on a big mistake from Kari Lehtonen behind his net to score his ninth of the season halfway through the first.
The second period was slightly better for the Stars as they recorded 8 shots on goal, but they still didn’t look like they were up for a game of hockey at all. It was a pretty poor period as it ended a scoreless one and somehow the Stars were still in the game heading to the third.
With just a 1 goal lead the Avs would have been very disappointed not to have capitalised on the Stars' tiredness and closed the game out in the third period. Whatever Glen Gulutzan said to his team at the second intermission definitely had an impact upon his team. They came out with a boost of energy and outplayed Colorado with 13 shots in the period.
With just over 5 minutes gone in the third, Vernon Fiddler tied the game up as he showed patience to back hand the puck over the stick of the impressive Giguere in the Colorado net. Just as the Stars thought they were coming back into the game, the Avs hit straight back on the powerplay through Paul Stastny, who tipped in a shot from Erik Johnson.
A poor game of hockey brought a very exciting end as the Stars pulled Lehtonen with just over a minute to play. With some relentless pressure, Michael Ryder was provided with an open net with 20 seconds left but the puck bounced on him and he couldn’t tie the game up.
Colorado took a crucial 2 points away from Texas and it was definitely a game that the Stars would like to forget and move on. They face the high-flying Blues in St Louis on Monday night but they will be without Mike Ribeiro, who is thought to be out until the All-Star break.