The Dallas Stars will try to bounce back from a rare home regulation loss when they host the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night.
The Stars, who were clinging to a one-point lead in the Central Division entering Thursday’s action, lost to the Edmonton Oilers 6-3 on Wednesday, snapping a four-game point streak (3-0-1) in the process.
It was just the fourth regulation loss in 16 home games this season for Peter DeBoer’s squad and came on the heels of a successful 3-1-1 Eastern road trip that included wins at New Jersey, Washington and Columbus.
Dallas allowed a total of just 10 goals in those five games, played over an eight-day span. But after just one day off following the grinding trip, they appeared to run out of gas against the Oilers, who scored three unanswered goals in the third period to win going away.
“I don’t know if it was (just) the third period,” DeBoer said. “I mean, it was a strange game. We were a little bit sloppy. We anticipated we would be a little bit. I was hoping we’d work our way out of it.
“You can’t hand a team like that some goals, and I think we gave them some goals. Missed faceoff assignment, power-play goal, a turnover. If you’re going to makes those mistakes against a team like that, you’re going to have to score five or six.”
Tyler Seguin had tied the game 3-3 late in the second period with a power-play goal. But Dallas gave up three goals in a five-minute span in the third, including what proved to be the game-winner by Warren Foegele after a rare turnover in the defensive zone by defenseman Miro Heiskanen.
“We’re not a team that gives up six (goals),” Seguin said. “We’ve found offense this year, but we can’t lose what makes us so good, which is how we defend and how we’ve defended over the years.
“Obviously a tough situation after that long road trip and trying to find a way tonight but we understand every team does that, every team has these types of games that you’ve got excuses if you want them, and we don’t want them. So we’ve got one more to respond.”
Montreal will be playing the third date of a road trip that began with a pair of overtime games. The Canadiens won the first one, 3-2 over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday, but lost to Colorado 2-1 on Wednesday.
The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead 1:48 into the first period on the first NHL goal by Anthony Richard, but Colorado dominated the rest of the way, outshooting Montreal 24-8 over the final two periods and overtime. Mikko Rantanen scored the game-winner 1:51 into OT.
“Did we steal a point? Probably,” Montreal coach Martin St. Louis said. “It would have been robbery if we got two (points) and it would have been on (goaltender Jake Allen’s) shoulders.”
Allen finished with 34 saves.
“They played on top of us,” said St. Louis, who said the mile-high altitude of Denver caught up to his team as the game wore on. “Part of that is them, part of it is us not having a lot of gas and being tired. It’s tough to manage that kind of pressure when you just don’t have the legs, you don’t have the lungs. … You’re kind of surviving a little bit, holding on.”
–Field Level Media