Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stars-Capitals: Dallas and Washington Exchange Blows in OT Thriller


Sometimes as a fan it’s hard to look back on a heart breaking loss and see it as a complete positive. To quote my father, “You can’t win them all”, and that is a perfect way to look at the Dallas Stars 6-5 loss to the Washington Capitals in overtime on Saturday night. Both teams played a strong exciting game keeping Stars fans on the edge of their seats but in the end Alexander Semin would win it all for the Capitals.

The first period would be the highest scoring of all the periods. Dallas’ Sean Avery would score his first goal as a Star at 10:19 on a wrist shot past Jose Theodore. Assists on the goal came from B.J. Crombeen and Mike Modano. Sergei Federov would even the score at one with a power play goal at 12:38 off of a B.J. Crombeen slashing penalty at 11:14. Assists on the Federov goal came from Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom.

Washington would take a one goal lead when Tomas Fleischmann scored at 16:58 with an assist from Michael Nylander. Dallas’ rookie superstar Fabian Brunnstrom would ripple the mesh for his own power play goal at 19:50 of the first. Sean Avery and Stéphane Robidas would record assists on the goal.

The second period would see more of the same for both teams. Washington’s Sergei Federov would score his second goal of the game at 11:23. Assisting on the goal were Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich. The Capitals would take a two goal lead when Tomas Fleischmann ripped a slap shot goal past Marty Turco at 15:16. Michael Nylander recorded an assist on the goal.

The Stars would refuse to give up though, as visible by B.J. Crombeen's tip-in goal at 15:55. Trevor Daley and Mike Modano would record assists on the goal.

Beginning the third period down by one, the Stars would start off aggressively. Loui Eriksson would tie it up for the Stars 56 seconds in with Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow recording assists. At 2:22 Tyler Sloan, a rookie for the Capitals, would score his first NHL goal. Assisting on the goal were Viktor Kozlov and Alexander Ovechkin.

As the Stars faithful held their collected breath, with Marty Turco on the bench for the extra attacker the Stars scored at 19:03 to tie the game at five thanks to Mike Modano. Brenden Morrow and Loui Eriksson recorded assists on Modano’s goal.

“I was just trying to work my way to the net and everything just seemed to open up there,” Modano explained about his goal. “Brenden made a great pass, it was a good play to get it down low to him, but no one was around me, so it was nice that it was a bang-bang play. I was able to get it off before they closed on me.”

Unfortunately for Dallas the back-and-forth of the previous periods would not be able to happen in sudden death. At 2:17 Alexander Semin would get some space in front of the Dallas net and rip the puck over Turco’s shoulder for the game winner.

“The goals-against is a joke. There’s a lot of guilty parties out there,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said in the game recap. “We’ve got flaws from some veteran players right now that we expect to be a lot better than they are. Our goaltending hasn’t been very good. You can’t have an .820 save percentage and survive in this league and we’ve got a young guy behind him that’s very unproven.”

“We hung in there and got a point out of it, but we’re not going to be too successful giving up five or six goals a night,” Modano said on the Dallas Stars website.

In the end, Dallas must now fix the goaltending and defense issues, but smile on the fact they walked away with one point from the game and battled hard to take it to overtime.

“It just seems a bit of up-and-down here,” Modano said after the game. “It comes down to defensive coverage, that ability to defend one-on-one, closing time and space off and backing up one another. We just need to continue to drill that in our heads and understand that’s always been our MO here, the way we’ve played for years. The sooner we understand that and adapt to it, and get it in our game, the better.”

The Stars now get a few days off. They will face the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday October 29th at the American Airlines Center at 7:30pm central.

Ken Armer is the NHL Community Coordinator for Bleacher Report as well as serving as the Community Leader for the Dallas Stars. He can be contacted on his profile or by e-mail at karmer@bleacherreport.com.

Image: Courtesy of Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

Original Boxscore: Courtesy of NHL.com.

Quotes: Courtesy of game recap on Dallas Stars website.

1 comment:

MJ Kasprzak said...

the distance between us just keeps getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger...you be happy with OT losses, I'll keep complaining about wins that aren't good enough!