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Stars fall flat in loss to Toronto

The Dallas Stars fell behind for the third straight game, but there was no comeback this time around. There was another loss on the road, their fourth straight. This one came at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs by a final score of 4-1.

“It wasn’t pretty tonight. We talked about how they were going to come hard and pressure us and we didn’t handle it well at all,” said Stars center Brad Richards, who scored the team’s lone goal. “You’re not just going to turn switches on all the time in the NHL and score three or four and get back into games. We got what we deserved tonight. We weren’t really in the game from the start.”

Nikolai Kulemin scored the first two goals of the game for Toronto, putting them up 1-0 midway through the first period and then making it a 2-0 game with 5:55 left in the second period. Richards would make it a 2-1 game 1:26 after Kulemin’s second goal, but the Leafs extended the lead to 3-1 with a Tyler Bozak goal just 1:36 after the Richards goal.

There weren’t many positives for the Stars. The one goal scored gave them a total of four over their last four road games. They were 0-2 on the power play and they are 1-27 on the power play on the road this season. They could only muster 22 shots on Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson. Twenty-seven of their shots were blocked by the guys playing in front of the Gustavsson.

“Give credit to the opposition. They played well, they played harder than us and they deserved to win,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “You can’t look at anybody on our team that can’t feel a little bit responsible for this, coaches included. When the total team doesn’t play well we all have to look at each other.”

After winning three of four on the road to start the season, the Stars have now lost four straight away from home to fall to 3-5-0 on the road. During that four-game road slide they’ve been outscored 16-4.

“We’ve got to start winning some road games,” said Richards. “The West is too tight to be going out on the road and putting a lot of pressure on yourself at home. “

The Stars will get another crack at righting the ship on the road Wednesday when they play at Ottawa.

“The good thing about our sport is you get to come back very quickly,” said Crawford. “You have to park these games and move forward.”

Quotable

“The positive thing is there are a billion people in China that don’t know that we played terrible tonight.”

-Stars coach Marc Crawford after his team’s 4-1 loss in Toronto Monday night

Quotable II

“When I saw him fighting [Colton] Orr I thought he was cheating on me.”

Former NHL player Brad May, who made a guest appearance on the Dallas Stars broadcast Monday night, talking about Stars forward Krys Barch. May and Barch fought several times over the years.