Dallas’ Joe Pavelski can only hope game No. 1,001 of his NHL career goes better than the last.
The Stars return home Sunday to face the Calgary Flames after a 7-4 drubbing at the Florida Panthers on Friday night.
The Stars, who entered the game with the best goals-against average and save percentage in the NHL, allowed seven goals on Florida’s first 21 shots and trailed 7-1 with 8 1/2 minutes left in the second period.
They at least made the final score look somewhat respectable by scoring the final three goals. Two of those were by Tyler Seguin, including his first power-play goal of the season.
“We used that third (period) to try to get our game back, because there’s another game before (the Christmas) break,” Pavelski said. “It was 20 minutes to try to get skating, try to get our minds in the right spot and go from there.
“This was a great reminder of how hard you’ve got to work. Not just a couple of guys, but everyone who steps over the boards. If you’re willing to do that, you give yourself a chance to win. It’s not guaranteed, but you give yourself a chance. … We can play with the best teams, but we can play with them when we’re ready to compete, when we’re a good four-line team.”
Interim coach Rick Bowness said the Stars “got what was coming to us.”
“Listen, this is a league that if you’re not ready to compete, they can embarrass you, and we got embarrassed tonight by a very highly skilled team,” Bowness said.
Bowness cautioned not to make too much of the late rally.
“They’re up 7-1 … They stopped playing to the level they were at,” he said. “We’re not going to pat ourselves on the back. We didn’t quit, I’ll give our guys credit for that, but the opposition had a six-goal cushion and they weren’t throwing their A-game at us anymore. We did fight back, and I hope that does carry over to Sunday.”
The Flames, who won their first seven games under interim coach Geoff Ward, have dropped three in a row since — all at home. That includes a 4-3 overtime defeat against Montreal on Thursday.
“We’re not satisfied with a point,” Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk said. “We were up 2-0 at one point in the game and up 3-2 with 10 minutes left. The best teams find a way to win that one in regulation there. We did a good job of that a couple weeks ago, but we’ve got to get back to that.”
Like the Stars, the Flames had a second period to forget, allowing two goals as Montreal rallied to tie the score entering the third.
“A couple tough bounces and they came out good,” Flames forward Elias Lindholm told NHL.com. “It was tough for us, that period. It’s been a theme there for the last three games for us. The second period has been bad for us. It’s still something we’ve got to work on.”
Dallas forward Alexander Radulov is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
–Field Level Media