Pavelec stymies Stars, continues divisional woes

Dallas Stars left wing Ryan Garbutt misses the shot as Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec defends during the second period at the American Airlines Center. 

Jerome Miron/Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It was a night where the Dallas Stars outshot the Winnipeg Jets 47-22, but in the end all the home team could manage was a goal by longtime defenseman Trevor Daley with 1:16 remaining in regulation as the Jets edged the Stars 2-1 at American Airlines Center.

Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stopped 46 of 47 shots, the best of which came early in the third period when he denied Tyler Seguin, currently tied for the NHL lead in goals, with a spectacular windmill glove save at the near post. 

"Utter domination, but (we) didn’t finish great opportunities," Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said. "I don’t think you can play any better and miss that many opportunities, and not win the hockey game. You’ve got to give Pavelec a lot of credit, but at the same time, the near-misses should be in the back of the net."

The Jets got goals from Michael Frolik early in the first period and a shorthanded tally from Evander Kane early in the third, a goal which was an absolute back breaker because Dallas, who falls to 2-9-5 in the Central Division, was on a four-minute power play after Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler gashed Dallas’ Erik Cole in the face with his stick to earn a double-minor.

Surrendering that shorty was kind of endemic of just how things went for the Stars, who finished the night 0-for-7 on the power play. Dallas is now 1-for-24 over its last six games with the man advantage.

"It’s frustrating because we had some good looks, but unfortunately the power play we put out there that would have been the difference tonight, we got scored on," Daley said. "You can’t let that happen either. The power play wasn’t good enough."

Stars backup goaltender Anders Lindback wasn’t heavily tested after getting the nod over starter Kari Lehtonen following his 34-save performance in relief of Kari in a 5-4 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.

Lindback couldn’t have done much to stop either Winnipeg goal. The Frolik goal was all on rookie defenseman John Klingberg, who arguably had his worst night of his short professional career, as Frolik was able to maneuver his stick around Klingberg’s skate to score his ninth of the season.

And Kane’s shorthanded goal came courtesy of a rather soft shot by the Jets forward which deflected in off Daley’s right skate.

"I thought (he was) good," Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said of Lindback’s 20-save performance. "That’s a tough night because there’s no action. But he made a couple good saves, and I thought his puck handling helped us to relieve any pressure when they came in to forecheck." 

Dallas will now look to rebound from this rather tough loss against a divisional foe on Saturday against the Washington Capitals to conclude a three-game homestand.

"That’s the way it goes. We’ve just got to move forward, forget about it," Daley said. "That’s a pretty good team against over there. They’re going well and they’re doing the right things. When you’re going well and doing the right things, good things happen. That’s what we saw tonight."