Stars 6, Predators 3

The Dallas Stars got off to a fast start, then held off

Nashville’s latest comeback bid.

Vernon Fiddler, Loui Eriksson and Steve Ott scored during a span

of 3:05 in the first period and Dallas went on to beat the

Predators 6-3 on Friday night.

”One of the keys was getting on them right away,” Fiddler

said.

Dallas rookie Richard Bachman stopped 34 shots in his seventh

consecutive start in place of Kari Lehtonen, who is out with a

groin injury but is expected back within a week.

Bachman was perfect in the first period while Nashville had 17

shots on goal, and good enough the rest of the way to improve his

record to 5-2.

”He’s had tough times in that we’re playing him in just about

every game,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. ”I thought he made

some key saves tonight. He left a couple of rebounds that we

cleaned up, and that’s not like him.”

Mike Ribeiro and Jamie Benn also scored for the Stars. Michael

Ryder had an empty-net goal and two assists.

The Predators were coming off a 6-5 home win over Columbus on

Thursday night, when they rallied from a three-goal deficit. This

time, their comeback bid fell short.

”We’re down 3-0 right away,” coach Barry Trotz said. ”You

can’t dig yourself a hole and come out of it every night. You’re

battling back, gaining momentum, the next shift is crucial. We did

that twice (gave up a goal after narrowing the deficit to one) and

that’s unacceptable. We’ve got to firm up.”

Second-period goals by Matt Halischuk and Martin Erat drew the

Predators to 3-2, but Ribeiro got one back for Dallas later in the

second to extend the advantage.

David Legwand’s power-play goal at 4:38 of the third again

pulled the Predators within a goal at 4-3, but Benn’s goal 30

seconds later restored the Stars’ two-goal cushion.

”Those response goals really hurt Nashville tonight,” Gulutzan

said.

Ryder’s empty-netter at 17:53 of the third period wrapped up the

victory.

Dallas struck first when Fiddler swept a loose puck into the

upper right corner of the net from the left circle at 9:25 of the

first period.

Eriksson needed only 1:16 after Fiddler’s goal to make it 2-0 on

a wrister from the left circle, and Ott’s deflection at 12:30

stretched Dallas’ lead.

”We can’t fall behind every game,” Nashville captain Shea

Weber said. ”We think we can come back. We score a huge goal, but

we give up a goal on the next shift.”

Trotz pulled starting goalie Pekka Rinne after Ott’s goal,

inserting Anders Lindback.

Halischuk got the Predators on the board at 8:56 of the second,

powering a rebound past Bachman during a pileup in front of the

net.

Erat struck from the right circle during a 5-on-3 at 11:45 of

the second to make it a one-goal game, but Ribeiro extended Dallas’

lead to 4-2 at 14:10 on a sharp-angle shot.

”We came back with big goals at the right time,” Ribeiro said.

”To get quick goals like that meant that we always had the

lead.”

NOTES: Stars D Sheldon Souray left early in the second period

with an ankle injury and did not return. … Dallas scored on three

of its first seven shots. … The Stars allowed 13 goals in their

previous three games. … The Predators have given up 15 goals in

their last three. … Dallas D Philip Larsen was back after missing

two games with a lower body injury. … F Tomas Vincour (knee) and

D Stephane Robidas (foot) were out for the Stars. … Nashville D

Kevin Klein (flu) missed the game. … Ott’s deflection goal stood

after a video review to determine if his stick was above the

crossbar when it made contact with the puck.