Sunday, February 15, 2009
Chicago Blackhawks 6, Dallas Stars 2
Stars turn out yet another dismal performance against Chicago.
Stars goalie Marty Turco turned in another solid performance Saturday night in Chicago. Not many of his teammates followed his lead. In a key game where the Stars could have gained ground on the fourth place Blackhawks, they came out flat and got flattened. Final score: Chicago 6, Dallas 2.
"You can count on one hand how many players I felt played to capacity," said Stars coach Dave Tippett. "The goalie just happened to be one of them. Turco gave us some great saves early, but we didn't have enough players that thought this game needed the urgency it did to get the job done."
The loss dropped the Stars, who are still in fifth place, nine points behind Chicago, but left them one point ahead of ninth place Vancouver and two points ahead of tenth place Minnesota.
The Stars were outshot 36-18 in the game, including 27-12 when the Blackhawks built a 3-0 lead and took command of the game.
"They outplayed us," said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. "They were just the better team. They had more jump. They execute, they play hard, forecheck hard and do the little things. We didn't. When you're not willing to work and do the details of the game it's pretty hard to win."
The Stars were outshot 15-6 in the first period, but only some sharp goaltending by Turco kept it 1-0 heading into the first intermission. Troy Brouwer scored from the slot 13:22 into the game off a nice pass Jonathan Toews out of the corner.
Chicago outshot the Stars 12-6 in the second period and got a pair of goals from Martin Havlat to extend the lead to 3-0.
Tippett pulled Turco, who stopped 24 of 27 shots after the second period and inserted Brent Krahn, who made his NHL debut. It didn't go well for Krahn, who got little help on the first shift of the period when Chicago's Jonathan Toews scored 42 seconds in during a scramble in front of the net. Chicago's Colin Fraser scored 2:19 into the period when a puck bounced off traffic and right onto his stick, giving him an open side of the net.
"I felt sorry for Krahn," said Tippett. "To go in there and have that happen to him."
The Stars got goals from Fabian Brunnstrom and Brian Sutherby later in the period to make it a 5-2 game. Chicago rookie Kris Versteeg scored with 5 seconds remaining to make it a 6-2 final.
The Blackhawks returned home after an eight-game road trip that saw them go 5-3-0. Now they head back out on the road for four more games.
"We needed a win," Havlat said. "It doesn't matter if we scored six goals or if we won by one goal. It was important to win because the last three games we didn't play the way we wanted. Tonight the whole team played better."
The same can't be said for the Stars, who now must regroup as they head to Columbus for a game with the Blue Jackets on Monday.
"Our team certainly needs a strong refocusing from a large group of players," said Tippett.