|(Photo by: John Russell/Getty Images)|
Head coach Glen Gulutzan and the Dallas Stars were fed up with losing to the Nashville Predators this season, as they defeated their future Conference III opponent 5-2, despite being outshot 28-18. Nashville found themselves behind the entire game and it started early. "We're not happy where we are, but now we have to play spoiler," said head coach Barry Trotz.
“We had a ton of chances, but we couldn’t cash in,” said Taylor Beck, who had an assist. “They didn’t have nearly as much, but they did cash in. That’s just the way it goes.”
Erik Cole ignited the Stars scoring with a hard slap shot from the point past a screened Chris Mason 6:04 in. The recently acquired Stanley Cup winner had all the time in the world to pick his spot and he did so with ease.
Rookie Alex Chiasson put the icing on the cake in the third period by scoring Dallas’ fourth and fifth goal to earn his team a victory.
Goaltender Richard Bachman came up big for his team making 26 saves on 28 shots and denying the Predators any chance they though conceivable. This game was huge for Bachman in order to gain trust from the coaching staff while Kari Lehtonen was out with another groin injury.
Rich Clune and Antoine Roussel dropped gloves 16:05 in the first period. This fight comes later in the period as during Clune’s first shift, he taunted the Stars’ bench.
Both fighters were rapidly throwing haymakers to each other’s faces. “It was big,” said assistant captain David Legwand. “Obviously Richard does that for us a lot and he’s big, he’s in the game, hitting guys and then he fights and that’s good for our team.
Clune’s fight led to Nashville’s first goal of the game from Taylor Beck 18:42 on the power play.
Fourth liner and scratch throughout the season Bobby Butler made some noise showing Trotz why he should see more playing time. Butler sniped Bachman glove side in the third period to notch the Predators their second and final goal of the game.
Butler’s goal gave him his first as a Predator and Daniel Bang, who assisted on the goal, was awarded with his first point in the NHL.
Chris Mason made his first start at Bridgestone Arena Friday night for the first time since February 21, 2008. His return didn’t come as planned as Mason played one of his worst in a Predators uniform stopping only thirteen of eighteen shots.
The Predators’ backup looked awkward between the pipes and never was comfortable. It is unlikely he gets another game before the season ends with Pekka Rinne wanting to end the year out strong.
With just minutes remaining, Sergei Kostitsyn hit Matt Fraser hard into the boards from behind. Kostitsyn received a major and was ejected from the game. The check was clearly dirty and will most likely be looked at by the league and Brendan Shanahan.
Goals and Assists
1-0 DAL: Erik Cole – Fiddler and Larsen at 6:04 in the 1st
2-0 DAL: PP Ray Whitney – Goligoski and Fiddler (2) at 8:40 in the 1st
2-1 DAL: PP Taylor Beck – Josi and Hornqvist at 18:42 in the 1st
3-1 DAL: Tom Wandell – Garbutt and Roussel at 2:28 in the 2nd
4-1 DAL: Alex Chiasson – Whitney and Daley at 11:12 in the 2nd
5-1 DAL: Alex Chiasson (2) – unassisted at 7:03 in the 3rd
5-2 DAL: Bobby Butler – Bang and Bartley at 12:12 in the 3rd
My Three Stars of the Game
1. Richard Bachman: 26 Saves
2. Alex Chiasson: 2 Goals
3. Bobby Butler: Goal
Predators scratches: #12 C Mike Fisher (hand), #18 W Brandon Yip (lower body), #28 C Paul Gaustad (shoulder) and #57 W Gabriel Bourque (knee)
Stars scratches: #28 W Lane McDermid, #58 D Jordie Benn and #32 G Kari Lehtonen (groin)