The Dallas Stars got a great first period performance from Kari Lehtonen in last night’s matchup against the Detroit Red Wings, but a collapse in the second and third periods led to a fourth regulation loss this season. Now 2-4-1, the Stars will be looking for answers after going 0 for 5 on the power play and not giving Lehtonen enough offensive help.
Loui Eriksson got the scoring started in the second period, but costly penalties doomed Dallas’ defense just a few minutes later. Jamie Benn was sent off for a high-sticking double minor, and Ray Whitney caught the Wings’ Brendan Smith in the mouth with his stick just over a minute later. Henrik Zetterberg scored on the power play, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead that they would never look back from. Lehtonen made 21 saves on 25 shots, with two Red Wings goals coming when he had limited or no sight line. Jaromir Jagr managed three shots on goal, but couldn’t put one home. His next tally will move him into tenth place all-time in goal scoring.
Coach Glen Gulutzan pulled Lehtonen in the waning minutes of the final period, in hope of keeping the team’s top netminder fresh for later in the week. Richard Bachman got the nod in relief, as Christopher Nilstorp is out with an injury. After a hot start, the Stars seem to be cooling off, with injuries taking their toll and the offense having a hard time scoring. With the talent on this roster, especially the return of Benn, the team should be able to reach the playoffs if they can turn things around quickly.