Sometimes as a fan it’s hard to look back on a heartbreaking loss and see it as a 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 won it all for the Capitals.
The first period was the highest scoring of all the periods. Dallas’ Sean Avery scored 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 evened 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 took a one-goal lead when Tomas Fleischmann scored at 16:58 with an assist from Michael Nylander. Dallas’ rookie superstar Fabian Brunnstrom rippled the mesh for his own power play goal at 19:50 of the first. Sean Avery and Stéphane Robidas recorded assists on the goal.
The second period saw more of the same for both teams. Washington’s Sergei Federov scored his second goal of the game at 11:23. Assisting on the goal were Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich.
The Capitals took 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.
Beginning the third period down by one, the Stars started off aggressively. Loui Eriksson tied 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, scored his first NHL goal. Assisting on the goal were Viktor Kozlov and Alexander Ovechkin.
As the Stars' faithful held their collective 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 did not happen in sudden death. At 2:17 Alexander Semin got some space in front of the Dallas net and ripped 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.
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 Oct. 29 at the American Airlines Center at 7:30 pm CT.
Ken Armer is the NHL Community Coordinator for Bleacher Report and also serves as the Community Leader for the Dallas Stars. He can be contacted on his profile or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Image: Courtesy of Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.
Original Boxscore: Courtesy of NHL.com.
Quotes: Courtesy of game recap on Dallas Stars website.