The Dallas Stars got a new owner Friday, but it didn’t snap the team out its current funk. The Stars lost their fourth straight game and they were shutout for the second straight game, falling 3-0 to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver Friday night.
“We’ve just got to throw pucks at the net. We need some dirty goals and we need some luck to go our way,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow.
The Stars haven’t scored a goal in the last 147:49 and have scored just three goals during their four-game slide, which has left them 11-7-0 on the season.
Despite Friday’s setback, the Stars did see improvement over Tuesday’s 6-0 loss to Florida at American Airlines Center.
“It was better,” said Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 42 of 44 shots. “The Florida game was terrible all the way around. I think we were better today. We just have to keep working.”
But there were concerns as well. The territorial advantage went to the Avalanche, who outshot the Stars by a 45-24 margin.
“I think we did some better things. I think the discouraging thing is that we are not winning any of our individual battles,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “If you’re not going to win your own one-on-one battles then there is really nothing you can do. You have to win battles, get to pucks, hold them and start cycles. It seems that if we get a puck chipped into our end on the forecheck they keep it in for 30 seconds. We chip one in their end, get on it and we’re in there for five. You can’t have it going that way all the time. I think each guy’s battle level has to come up.”
The Avalanche outshot the Stars 16-4 in the first 20 minutes and scored the only goal of the first 20 minutes. Ryan Wilson’s point shot was deflected into the net by Chuck Kobasew 6:10 into the game.
“He tipped it there in front of me. Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t,” said Lehtonen.
There was no scoring in the second period, but the Stars did create some good scoring chances, but couldn’t get a puck past Avalanche J-S Giguere.
“We probably had a lot of the play in the second period, we just didn’t get the bounce we needed,” Morrow said. “We were generating opportunities and getting good cycles, but probably didn’t get the puck to the net as much. We controlled it, we just couldn’t put it in areas where we could score.”
Colorado cashed in on a power play with 5:26 left in the third to make it a 2-0 game. With Morrow in the penalty box for cross-checking, Paul Stastny scored off the rebound of a Gabriel Landeskog shot. Matt Duchene added an empty-net power play goal with five seconds remaining to make it a 3-0 final.
The Avalanche, who snapped a three-game losing streak, won for just the third time at home this season (3-6-0).
“We’ve been playing hard lately and not been getting much success. We did a lot of good things tonight,” said Giguere, who stopped 24 shots for his first shutout in two seasons, “We shot a lot of pucks, our power play came through at the end, we stayed disciplined and we played well defensively. It was the type of game we have to play at home.”
*Stars forward Steve Ott returned to the lineup after missing the previous six games with a hip injury.
*Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said he was leaning towards starting goalie Andrew Raycroft in Saturday’s game against San Jose, but a final decision would come on Saturday.