The Stars traveled to Nashville one day after a heartbreaking home-opener loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and almost from the start it was more of the same for Dallas. Maybe it was the travel, or the stress of yesterday's loss, but the Stars again looked flat in the opening frame.
Nashville set the tone early with a goal from Shea Weber, 46 seconds in, assists on the goal came from Jason Arnott and Jean-Pierre Dumont. At 2:01, Trevor Daley would increase his scoring streak to two games with a goal on Nashville’s Dan Ellis. Assists on the goal came from Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott.
Jason Arnott would give the Predators the 2-1 lead with a power play goal at 10:54 with assists from Dumont and Martin Erat.
The first frame saw a lot of penalty time given out, especially to the Stars. At 8:36, there was a loving exchange that escalated into a small brouhaha when the Stars' B.J. Crombeen and Sean Avery took on the Predators Dan Hamhuis and Greg DeVries. Avery and Hamhuis received 10-minute game misconducts for their fisticuffs.
The second period was completely quiet, scoring wise, but it saw the Predators give the Stars many power-play opportunities. Nashville took four penalties to Dallas’ two; one of the penalties for both teams was an offsetting two-minute hooking call on the Stars Stéphane Robidas and the Predators Jerred Smithson. How both players hook one another at the same time I will never understand, but apparently it can be done.
By looking at shots on goal, the second was more evenly matched, with the Stars putting seven pucks on goal to the Predators nine on Marty Turco. The third began with the Predators outshooting the Stars, 24-13.
The third period would be much of the same for the Stars. It was a close match until Steve Ott’s high-sticking penalty at 15:52, which led to a Jason Arnott power-play goal at 16:13, thus sealing the Predators 3-1 victory, and the Stars' coffin. Assists on Arnott’s goal came from Dumont and Erat.
Nashville’s Dan Ellis had 19 saves and recorded the victory. The Stars' Marty Turco had 29 saves in the loss. Dallas now falls to 0-1-1 this season and will look to record its first win against the Predators on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at the American Airlines Center.
In the end, Nashville played a much more complete game than that of Dallas, on top of getting scoring from their top line scorers, which Dallas did not get. Dallas also likely will see the amount of time spent in the sin-bin as a reason for the loss in this game.
Heading home to Dallas to face the Predators, where the Stars hold a fantastic record against Nashville, could boost the Stars' confidence. Coach Dave Tippett and the Stars will have a couple of days off to fix the issues from the first two games.
Image: Courtesy of Dallas Stars website