Thursday, February 3, 2011
Boston Bruins 6, Dallas Stars 3
It was men against small boys Thursday night in Boston.
The Dallas Stars were completely outclassed Thursday night in Boston, losing 6-3 to the Bruins in yet another lopsided blowout. The loss was their fourth in their last five games and dropped the Stars to 30-17-5 on the season.
Despite the loss, the Stars still hold a precarious five point lead over the surging San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division, and are just three points behind the Detroit Red Wings for second overall in the Western Conference.
The game started with a fight in the first second when Steve Ott and NHL untouchable Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves, and Ott landing a blow that left Campbell's blood all over center ice. After a short delay of game to clean the blood, a second fight one second later between Krys Barch and former Stars tough guy Shawn Thornton, a match won decisively by the big Bruin. Just two seconds after that, Stars third liner Brian Sutherby skated across the ice to challenge Bruins rookie defenseman Adam McQuaid, and was roundly pummeled for it.
The game finally got off to a start of sorts after the three fights, when Milan Lucic potted an easy short range shot on former Bruins standout Andrew Raycroft on the first shot of the game. A red hot Patrice Bergeron made it 2-0 half a minute later on the second shot of the game, on a puck that may have been kicked into a wide-open net, but was not reviewed. Raycroft was pulled in favor of Kari Lehtonen after allowing two goals on two shots.
Things went from bad to worse when gritty Stars forward Adam Burish unwisely fought with Star-killing defenseman Andrew Ference, and was decked in the left eye for it. Burish's eye was swollen for much of the rest of the game. Five minutes after that, Bergeron scored his second of the night, and with four minutes left in the period Thornton scored on a bomb from long range over Lehtonen's glove side for an insurmountable 4-0 first-period lead.
The second period was balanced in favor of the Stars, who weathered a terrible non-goal call when Bruins defenseman McQuaid appeared to score to make it 5-0, but it was waved off due to a phantom goalie interference call. Karlis Skrastins finally broke the shutout midway through the period on a pass from Burish to make it 4-1. The Stars got a five minute powerplay when Daniel Paille was given a match penalty for a blindside hit to the head on Roy Sawada, but were unable to score.
Dallas stormed out in the third period for the first time all game, cutting Boston's lead in half thirty seconds in when Stars captain Brenden Morrow scored a shorthanded goal, then clawing back to within a goal three minutes later on a Brad Richards powerplay goal that made it 4-3.
Lehtonen couldn't hold the fort, however, giving up a terrible goal to Tyler Seguin that effectively ended any hope of a historic comeback. Brad Marchand scored into an empty net with two and a half minutes left to ice the contest.
Lehtonen had a game to forget, stopping 29 of the 32 shots he faced by allowing some truly soft goals. His Bruin counterpart Tuuka Rask was also very shaky, saving 30 of the 33 shots he faced, and allowing nearly a dozen fat rebounds that Stars forwards didn't capitalize on.
Dallas' next game is Saturday night in Philadelphia, where they will take on the 34-13-5 Flyers, the third straight division leader the Stars will face.