Dallas Stars’ season ends in 3-0 loss to Detroit Red Wings

Posted Saturday, Apr. 27, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The Dallas Stars are stuck in a streak of five consecutive seasons that have ended with the regular-season finale.

Saturday’s 3-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at the American Airlines Center ended the lockout-shortened 2013 season.

Detroit (24-16-8, 56 points) put the finishing touch on the the 20th year since the Stars moved to North Texas.

Detroit had already dashed the Stars’ playoff hopes two days earlier with their victory Thursday night over the Nashville Predators.

However, in a game Saturday that meant nothing to the young Stars, the team put up a respectable fight through two periods, holding Detroit to just one soft goal that trickled through goalie Richard Bachman’s legs off the skate of defenseman Alex Goligoski on a crossing pass from Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg late in the first period.

But just as in three key losses that eventually knocked the Stars out of the playoff hunt in the final two weeks of the season, a third-period goal did the Stars in.

“When you’re hoping to score on the power play to tie it, giving up a short-handed goal is never good, and obviously they got another one after that anyways,” Stars forward Jamie Benn said.

On the penalty kill, Zetterberg continued his stellar night, taking a break-out pass from Pavel Datsyuk on a breakaway and scoring short-handed.

The third goal was added a few minutes later on a snap shot by defenseman Jonathan Ericsson that slid past a screened Bachman.

Datsyuk had an assist on all three Red Wings’ goals.

It was reminiscent of the Stars’ loss on April 23 in which they had to take at least one point from San Jose to stay in the thick of the race for a playoff berth.

“I think it went downhill when we lost the game in LA and then we lost the game in San Jose, when we needed at least a point to keep our destiny in our hand,” Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas said. “Tonight, we played a very good hockey team and I think we battled.”

It was only the second loss in regulation in a home finale for the Stars since 1998.

“We’re a pretty tight group and we had a lot of young guys that played great hockey for us,” Benn said. “We stuck together to the end and we fought hard to the end.”

It was a team of young players who stuck together after deadline trades that left them without captain Brenden Morrow, Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy, and the Stars managed to remain in the playoff race much longer than most expected, Robidas said.

Changes are expected before the Stars hit the ice again, amid reports of a change at general manager.

Questions also surround the future of Stars coach Glen Gulutzan , with the players speaking their sentiments for Gulutzan after the game.

“I did everything I could at the time,” Gulutzan said after Saturday’s game. “Would I do things differently? No. We put a lot on this group and dug in right from the get-go.

“I’m proud of this team now and prior to the trade deadline.”

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