Senators collapse late in loss to Stars

The Ottawa Senators just missed continuing their winning streak when they gave up two goals in the final 5:34 to lose 3-2 to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

Senators collapse late in loss to Stars
Kyle Turris #7 of the Ottawa Senators scores during the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

DALLAS — The Ottawa Senators just missed continuing their winning streak when they gave up two goals in the final 5:34 to lose 3-2 to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
The Senators had just taken a 2-1 lead on Milan Michalek’s 15th goal of the year when Radek Dvorak and Eric Nystrom scored to give Dallas a come-from-behind win.
Erik Condra also scored for the Senators, while Steve Ott got Dallas’ first goal.
Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson made 29 saves and his Dallas counterpart Andrew Raycroft stopped 33 shots.
The Senators were unlucky to leave the first period tied 1-1. They could have been ahead by one or maybe two goals. They controlled the period, outshot the Stars 13-9, and had a big territorial edge.
The Stars didn’t even get their first shot (from Toby Petersen) until the game was more than five minutes old and Condra was in the penalty box for hooking.
And that’s all they would get on that power play — one shot.
Making it worse for the Stars was that within seconds of stepping out of the penalty box, Condra stepped into a pass from Jared Cowen, who had taken the puck from Star defenceman Philip Larsen along the boards.
Condra went in alone and beat Raycroft with a wrist shot over his glove.
But Dallas’ power play, one of the league’s worst, couldn’t stay bad forever and at 9:38, with Nick Foligno off for holding, Ott scored his team’s first power-play goal in 23 chances, a slap shot from the right point.
That was about the only chance the Stars had, though, while the Senators had and missed a few more.
The best came with about eight minutes left when Nikita Filatov nearly surprised Raycroft with a wraparound. But Raycroft got his left leg out and managed to direct the puck into the crease, from where it was cleared.
The Senators also had two near misses during a penalty to Mark Fistric.
It seemed as if the Stars had a wide territorial edge in the second period, and maybe they did, but they sure didn’t get much out it as each team was credited with just four shots apiece.
Part of the reason was that the Senators blocked 12 shots in the second and 16 over two periods. Part of it was that Dallas’ power play is in a slump.
“It’s been awful, let’s be honest,” said Ott. “For some reason, we haven’t been executing.”

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GAME FILE

ON THE RISE: Michalek’s 15th goal of the season puts him one off the league lead. He has scored three in his last two games and is on pace to score 49.2 goals. Dany who?

DUD: Craig Anderson. He played so well for 55 minutes that he shouldn’t be here, but by allowing two goals in the final 5:34, he has to wear the horns. Nystrom’s goal, to the far corner, was one Anderson won’t like.

STUD: Andrew Raycroft. In a tough goalie battle, he came out on top.

POWER OUTAGE: Until the Stars scored a first-period power play goal, they had been blanked on 23 chances stretching back over their last eight games. Entering the game, they were 22nd in the league overall (14.5 per cent) and 23rd at home (13.5),

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THEY SAID IT

Jason Spezza: “We battled to get the lead and to give it up the way we did in the last five minutes makes it a tough loss.
“It was a pretty even game. We finally get the lead and then we lost the game. Not exactly what we wanted to do.”

Paul MacLean: “It’s obviously disappointing. The first 55 minutes I thought we played real well. Unfortunately we couldn’t play defensively in the last five minutes, and we couldn’t clear pucks or get out of our zone when we had the opportunity. When you get the lead in this league, you have to continue to play hard and you have to be committed and I think it’s part of the learning process for us, how to win games on the road. You can’t take things for granted, that things are going to happen.”

Craig Anderson: “We had the lead, then they tie it up, and you think you’ll at least get a point out of it. But we didn’t, and we’ve got to learn from it. For the most we stuck to the game plan and played pretty good hockey. Then maybe we got a little tired at the end and they capitalized on their opportunities.”

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