The Dallas Stars staged another comeback Wednesday night, but they couldn’t pull off a victory. They did, however, get an important point in the standings. The Stars rallied from a 3-0 deficit before falling 4-3 in a shootout to the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center.
“It’s a positive point given that we came back from a three-goal deficit. It’s not very often that you do that,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “Can’t be disappointed about it. Sure, we would have liked to have had two points but it was a good, hard comeback by our guys. They dug deep, as they have all year and at this point of the season it’s get every point that you can get.”
The point, which ran the Stars points streak to seven games (5-0-2) and gave them 80 for the season, left them in sixth place in the Western Conference at the end of the night and kept them three points ahead of the ninth place position. Calgary moved into fifth place, one point ahead of the Stars.
“We battled back and we battled for a point,” said Stars defenseman Jeff Woywitka. “They’re a good team and are playing well, but so are we. Every night is a battle. We’re going to put this behind us, take our point and move on.”
The Stars fell behind early in the game. Calgary scored three goals in a 3:15 span of the first period to build that early lead. Kari Lehtonen made a huge to save to keep it a 3-0 game, stopping Alex Tanguay on a shorthanded breakaway late in the first period.
“Kari made a great save there and that’s what got us going,” said Stars forward Tomas Vincour.
Jamie Benn scored on the Stars’ second power play of the game late in the first to make it 3-1. Mike Ribeiro scored off the rush in the second to make it a 3-2 game. And then Vincour scored his first NHL goal at 5:39 of the third, beating Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff with a shot from the left circle to tie the game.
“I just tried to shoot it from the corner and it went in,” said Vincour. “I’ll definitely never forget this moment.”
Both teams had chances as the third period moved along and in the overtime. It came down to the shootout and Alex Tanguay and Curtis Glencross scored for the Flames and Mike Ribeiro was the only Star who could beat Kiprusoff.
Notes: Richards returns
Stars center Brad Richards, who had missed the previous ten games with concussion-like symptoms, returned to the lineup Wednesday night. He played 22:39 and won 10 of 18 faceoffs.
“I felt better as the game went on,” Richards said. “A little more than three weeks away the pace and everything didn’t feel as normal, as comfortable. I tried to play smart and get into it a different way. You’re kind of on egg shells when you get hit. You’re not really sure. Never gone through it like that, but as the game went on and I had the puck, I realized I am not made of glass and I got more comfortable.”
“I thought he looked like he was off for ten days,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “I am confident he is going to be better next game and confident he is going to be even better the game after that. I don’t think you come back from that long a layoff without some rust in your game. I do think he looks fresher.”
Defenseman Nicklas Grossman (hip) did not play Wednesday. He has missed 11 games with the injury.