Stars Hit with Tough Loss to Bruins

Boston Bruins center Gregory Campbell (11) scores a goal against Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in Dallas.

LM Otero/AP

DALLAS — Despite getting a goal from Vernon Fiddler in his 700th game, the Dallas Stars were unable to hold off the Boston Bruins, conceding three unanswered goals as the Bruins handed the Stars a 3-1 defeat at American Airlines Center on Tuesday in Dallas’ final game before the All-Star break.

"In my eyes, it’s a tough loss. I thought we really skated well. Pushing a pretty tough schedule, but I thought the energy in the game was great," Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said.

Dallas (21-18-7), who saw its two-game winning streak come to an end, was riding high after Fiddler’s sixth of the season early in the second period.

However, later in the middle frame, Fiddler rang the near post with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle, one of three posts the Stars would find on the evening, and 55 seconds later, the Bruins tied it when ex-Star Loui Eriksson scored his 11th goal of the season to tie it at 1-1.

Ruff called the near-miss by Fiddler arguably the true turning point in what ended up being a tough two-point loss in a game where the Stars coach and his players alike agreed they outplayed the B’s for much of the evening but didn’t come away with the two points, much like the tough 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets last Thursday, a game where Dallas finished with 46 shots but couldn’t solve Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec for more than a late goal from longtime defenseman Trevor Daley.

In addition to Fiddler drawing iron, Tyler Seguin also found the crossbar with a wrist shot from the left circle in the third and a few minutes later, Colton Sceviour connected with the right post with a wrister from almost the same spot.

Those close calls made this loss a tough one to stomach for Dallas’ lone representative at the 2015 NHL All-Star Game which will be at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday.

"It’s a tough one to swallow, it’s pretty comparable to that game against Winnipeg," Seguin said. "We did enough to win the game so it’s difficult to swallow that one. We have got to get our rest here on the break and get ready to be the best team out there."

Another sticking point for Ruff was seeing the Dallas power play finish the night at 0-for-6 despite generating 16 shots with the man advantage.

Tonight’s 0-fer with the man advantage makes the Stars 3-for-37 on the power play over their last nine games, a definite ouch heading into the five-day break before resuming play next Tuesday at the Montreal Canadiens.

"We had a lot of chances. We were all over the place, I don’t think I stayed in one spot the whole power play on many of them," Seguin said. "Again, lots of chances and Tukka (Rask) made some great saves. There were also plays where we were just kind of hitting him. Again like I said it was kind of like that Winnipeg game where we were good enough to win but ended up losing."

Another downer from this loss was Dallas losing second-line winger Erik Cole to an upper-body injury late in the first period. Cole did not return for the final 40 minutes of play and the prognosis from Ruff didn’t sound too encouraging postgame.

"He’s going to be out for a period of time by the looks of it.  I can’t give you a timeframe, but it looks longer than shorter at this point," Ruff said. "I wouldn’t expect him back post-break."

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