Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Nashville Predators 4, Dallas Stars 0
Stars get can't anything right in embarrassing home loss.
DALLAS The Dallas Stars continued to give away free points Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center, losing 4-0 to the Nashville Predators. The loss was their second straight and dropped Dallas to 12-11-2 on the season, while the Predators improved to 11-9-6.
Dallas controlled the play early on, at one point dominating with a 7-1 shot advantage, but it was Nashville that struck first when rookie defenseman Jamie Oleksiak had the puck stripped in the nuetral zone leading to a breakaway the other way. Nick Spaling capitalized for his fourth goal of the year at 12:16 and the 1-0 lead.
Dalls again mounted lots of offensive pressure in the second period, outshootint Nashville 15-8, but were unable to get anything by stellar Preds netminder Pekka Rinne, and Nashville scored on two counterpunches. The first came at 2:16 when, just 14 seconds into a powerplay on Stars rookie defenseman Brenden Dillon, Shea Weber collected the puck after a broken play and backhanded it past Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen for his fourth goal of the year and a 2-0 lead. Seven minutes later, Dallas' third rookie defenseman Jordie Benn was caught out of position just as a Dallas powerplay expired and Predators enforcer rich Clune drew a penalty shot. Clune converted by wristing it through Lehtonen's five-hole for an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
Dallas stormed the offensive zone in the third, but again could get nothing by Rinne and his barricade of shot blockers, as Preds players laid down for 22 blocks on the night. The Predators put the final nail in the coffin at 14:58 on the powerplay, after Eric Nystrom was given an extra minor for roughing during a fight with Nashville's Ryan Ellis. Nashville went 2-for-4 on the powerplay with a penalty shot, while Dallas was 0-for-4 without two of their leading scorers in Jamie Benn (injured wrist) and captain Brenden Morrow (groin).
Lehtonen had a forgettable game, stopping just 17 of 21 shots. Rinne was outstanding, making saves on all 32 shots he faced.
Dallas' next game is Thursday night in Dallas against the 19-3-3 Anaheim Ducks.