Raycroft makes 44 saves as Stars win 4-2

Andrew Raycroft made 44 saves and his teammates scored three third period goals as the Dallas Stars rallied for a 4-2 victory in Nashville Tuesday night. Loui Eriksson had a goal and an assist, Mark Fistric tallied the game-winning goal and Steve Ott and Krys Barch also scored for the Stars, who won their fourth straight road game despite being outshot 46-25. The Stars improved to 22-11-4 on the season and pulled to within two points of Western Conference leading Detroit. The Stars and Red Wings meet Wednesday night at American Airlines Center.

First period

Stars goalie Andrew Raycroft made 16 saves in the period, including a glove save on a point blank backhand chance by Nashville’s Sergei Kostitsyn with five seconds left in the period.

Raycroft got some help earlier in the period when defenseman Stephane Robidas made two blocks on Nashville shorthanded chances after Raycroft turned over the puck and was caught out of position.

Stars coach Marc Crawford juggled his lines for the game, moving Brian Sutherby onto to the top line with Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson. James Neal moved to the left side of a line with Steve Ott and Adam Burish.

Defenseman Nicklas Grossman and center Tom Wandell missed the game due to illness and Brandon Segal was a healthy scratch.

Second period

Raycroft stopped 17 of 18 shots in the second period for the Stars. Just after he make a poke check save on Kevin Klein the Stars headed the other way and scored when Loui Eriksson made a pretty no look, backhand centering pass that Steve Ott knocked home from close range to put the Stars up 1-0 at the 4:39 mark of the period.

Raycroft held the fort until the final minute of the period when the Predators finally cashed in on their fifth power play chance of the game. Colin Wilson backhanded a rebound by Raycroft on Nashville’s 33rd shot of the game to tie the game at 1-1 with 59.4 seconds remaining.

Third period

Nashville took a 2-1 lead 32 seconds into the third period when Wilson scored on a breakaway, slipping a backhand shot past Raycroft for his second goal of the game.

The Stars answered quickly, getting the equalizer just 1:12 later when Eriksson took a pass from Benn off the rush and roofed a shot over Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne to make it a 2-2 game.

The Stars took a 3-2 lead at the 8:18 mark when defenseman Mark Fistric picked off a wrap-around pass at the left point and put a shot on net that hit a stick and went past Rinne for his first goal of the season.

Less than two minutes later the Stars extended the lead when Krys Barch scored his first goal of the season, driving the net and banging home the rebound of a Brian Sutherby shot to make it a 4-2 game at the 10:05 mark at the third period.