Dallas 3 - Minnesota 5
Everything was going right for the Dallas Stars on their last game of the regular season. The Red Wings had beaten the Chicago Blackhawks, opening up the eighth seed in the West, and Dallas was playing a Minnesota Wild team that was full of call-up players because their injury list was so extensive. And then, the game started and everything went to hell in a handbasket en route to a 5-3 loss for the Stars.
The first period wasn't bad for the Stars as they managed to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission through goals by Brad Richards and Brenden Morrow, but then the second period came around and the Wild looked like the desperate team that was fighting for a playoff spot. They were beating Dallas to loose pucks and they were more aggressive in rushing the net. The only thing that was keeping Dallas in the game was their power-play, which led to Morrows's goal in the first period and an Alex Goligoski goal in the second.
The third period turned into a microcosm of this season for the Stars. The defense lost containment on the Wild players and left guys wide open in front of the net to fire at Kari Lehtonen. It eventually led to the game-winning and season ending goal against the Stars as former Dallas Star Antti Miettinen scored on a Wild power-play.
Dallas had many chances to tie the game, but each shot went agonizingly wide or was blocked by a diving Wild player. More than once, Stars players had a open net to shoot at, but the shot was blocked by a diving defender. Steve Ott had a couple of chances but his point blank shot from the side of the net went through the crease instead of into the net. By the time the end of the game rolled around, it was painfully obvious that instead of scoring a goal after pulling the goalie, they would end up allowing an empty netter. With that empty netter came the end to a wild roller-coaster season for the Stars.
After watching the Wings and Blackhawks game earlier in the day, you could tell that Dallas didn't even belong in the same conversation as those two teams. The intensity with which those two played was what Dallas needed, but you only saw that in short spurts from the Stars. They weren't able to sustain momentum and when they had that 2-1 lead in the second period, they seemed content with sitting on the lead and trying to protect it. They were playing not to lose instead of playing to win.
This was a Minnesota team that was missing five of its top players, including its star player Matin Havlat. They had lost nine of their last twelve games and were just waiting for their season to end. Heck, they even fired their coach the very next day. This was a team that the Stars should have no business losing to, especially with the playoffs on the line, but it happened.
From here on out will be questions about who stays and who goes, as well as who the heck is going to buy the team.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary
|Power Plays||2 of 5 (40%)||1 of 2 (50%)
- 6:05 Brad Staubitz (4) Dallas 0 - Minnesota 1
Assists: Brent Burns, Carson McMillan
- 12:28 Brad Richards (28) Dallas 1 - Minnesota 1
Assists: Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn
- 16:07 Brenden Morrow (33) (Power Play) Dallas 2 - Minnesota 1
Assists: Loui Eriksson, Alex Goligoski
- 7:19 Jared Spurgeon (4) (Power Play) Dallas 2 - Minnesota 2
Assists: Andrew Brunette, Mikko Koivu
- 11:53 Colton Gillies (1) Dallas 2 - Minnesota 3
Assists: Kyle Brodziak, Chuck Kobasew
- 18:17 Alex Goligoski (14) (Power Play) Dallas 3 - Minnesota 3
Assists: Loui Eriksson, Brad Richards
- 6:47 Antti Miettinen (16) Dallas 3 - Minnesota 4
Assists: Andrew Brunette, Mikko Koivu
- 19:47 Pierre-Marc Bouchard (12) (Empty Net) Dallas 3 - Minnesota 5
Assists: Cal Clutterbuck, Greg Zanon