Saturday, January 26, 2013
St. Louis Blues 4, Dallas Stars 3
Outmanned Stars can't overcome defensive lapses in home loss.
DALLAS The Dallas Stars were without three of their top six forwards Saturday night and looked it, losing 4-3 to the St. Louis Blues at the American Airlines Center. The loss was their second straight and dropped them to 2-2-1 on the season. St. Louis improved to 4-1-0, the third-best record in the NHL.
Missing Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy due to injury and Jamie Benn due to immigration issues, the Stars iced a patchwork forward crew with several AHL call-ups in addition to their rookie-heavy defensive corps. Predictably, the Blues opened the scoring just five and a half minutes in when new Blues addition Wade Redden scored from the point for his first NHL goal of the season and the 1-0 lead.
Just 28 seconds later, however, AHL call-up Tomas Vincour streaked down the middle of the ice, took a shot and then collected his own rebound and stuffed it in for his first goal of the season and a 1-1 tie. Dallas unexpectedly took the lead at 12:40 of the first period, when Michael Ryder scored his third goal of the season on a powerplay for a 2-1 lead.
Unfortunately for Dallas, they played atrocious hockey in the second period, getting outshot 12-7 and scored on three times. David Perron tied it midway through the period on a wrist shot through traffic, then Chris Stewart put the Blues ahead at 16:32 when Stars captain Brenden Morrow blew a defensive assignment. Perron scored his second of the night with just 16 seconds left in the second period to essentially ice the game at 4-2. Stars defenseman Trevor Daley was on the ice for all four St Louis goals, while Morrow was on the ice for three despite limited minutes on the third line.
Dallas stormed back in the third to make it interesting. Morrow capitalized on a Blues error in their own zone, beat St. Louis goaltender Jaroslav Halak to the puck behind the net and got a pass to a streaking Ryan Garbutt, who put one over Halak's shoulder for his first goal of the season and a 4-3 score.
Dallas rarely threatened after that until the final minutes, when a series of mad scrambles around the net were thwarted by the Blues' excellent shotblocking. Ray Whitney got behind the Blues defense with a few seconds remaining but his shot clanged off the post.
Stars rookie netminder Cristopher Nilstorp played decently, making 25 saves on 29 shots before leaving with eight minutes remaining with an apparent groin injury. Kari Lehtonen came on in relief and stopped all three shots he faced to keep the comeback hopes alive. Halak made 20 saves on 23 shots for his third win of the season.
Dallas next heads to Columbus Monday night for a road game against the 1-3-1 Blue Jackets. Jamie Benn is hoping to have immigration clearance to play.