The Dallas Stars had a couple of rough games to finish their recent four game road trip, and their return home was even rougher. The Stars suffered their most lopsided defeat of the season, falling 6-0 to the Florida Panthers at American Airlines Center.
"This is the most embarrassing game we've had at home in quite some time,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow.
It was the third straight loss for the Stars, who are now 11-6-0 on the season. They have been outscored 14-3 during the three-game losing streak.
"I just think the honeymoon is over. I think the honeymoon is over. You start off 11-3 and teams are prepared. They are prepared to play you, they watch you probably a little closer,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “I thought Florida did a really good job of pre-scouting us. You can have systems given to you from God above, but if you don't add work to those systems you are not going to win. We got severely outworked."
Tuesday’s dismal showing came on the heels of road losses in Pittsburgh and Detroit over the weekend in which the Stars felt they were outplayed and outworked.
“You look back, it's been nine periods where we've been outworked,” said Morrow. “There have been some periods in those games, five or ten minutes, where we've done some things well, but it's pretty simple - we've just been outworked these last few games."
The loss was just the second at home for the Stars, who are now 6-2-0 at the AAC.
“You get back home from a long trip, you hear all the things about that first one at home (being tough), you think you are prepared and then you throw out a stinker like this,” said Morrow. “It’s embarrassing.”
The Panthers dominated the first period, outshooting the Stars 14-4. It looked as if the Stars might get out of the period in a scoreless tie, but Florida scored a pair of goals 1:24 late in the period. After Adam Pardy got knocked down at the Dallas blue line, Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov scored on odd-man situation from the left circle with 3:16 left in the period. Jason Garrison made it 2-0 when he scored off a blast from the blue line with 1:52 left in the first.
“We weren’t super happy with our last game at home and we wanted to come out and jump on them early,” said Florida center Stephen Weiss, who had one goal, two assists and a plus-six rating on the night. “We know they were coming home off a road trip. I don’t think they had their best game or best legs tonight and we were able to take advantage of that. It was a good night for us.”
It took the Stars 10:31 to get their first shot in the second period, and then Florida scored two goals late in the period to extend the lead to 4-0. Tomas Fleischmann scored off the rush, slipping by Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas and roofing a shot over Kari Lehtonen with 4:58 left in the period. Then with 7.8 seconds left, Weiss finished off a slick tic-tac-toe passing pas involving Kris Versteeg and Fleischmann.
Florida extended the lead to 5-0 midway through the third. Just after the Panthers killed off a Dallas power play, Versteeg scored on a two-on-one.
Marco Sturm set up Evgeni Dadonov on a two-on-one and the puck went by Lehtonen off Dadanov’s skate. After a review it was determined there was no distinct kicking motion and it was ruled a good goal and the Panthers were up 6-0, which is how the game ended.
The Stars put some pressure on in the third, but couldn’t crack Scott Clemmensen, who was making his first start of the season and stopped 25 shots for the shutout.
“I think we catch a team coming off the road for one. I think that is a legitimate thing. When teams come off the road, there’s something that makes it hard to come out,” said Florida coach Kevin Dineen. “I don’t think there was a whole lot of oomph by their fan base, which this team definitely deserves with the season that they’re having. And I think we smelled some opportunity.”
Notes: Burish, Barch leave game with injuries
*Forward Adam Burish left Tuesday’s game after being hit in the hand with a puck. The Stars didn’t have an update on him following the game, but one should come Wednesday.
*Forward Krys Barch left the game after twisting his ankle. There should be an update on his status Wednesday as well.
*Tuesday’s attendance was 10,125.