DALLAS — The Dallas Stars 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday was a microcosm of the season.
The Stars started slow, were outworked early and had to dig out of a big hole. The role players helped change the tide a bit and Dallas eventually tied the game, but at a key moment in the third period they didn’t execute.
At the end of the night, the Stars were left with a moral victory. Another hollow feeling in a season that’s been filled with disappointments, both deserved and underserved.
The Stars are once again have a .500 points percentage, the 15th time this season they’ve been at at .500.
“It was good to see there was no quit. That could have been an ugly game and there’s been a few ugly games in the league this year,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “We creep a little bit above, lose a tough one, battle hard to get to that one or two. But we haven’t been able to push right through and put that string of games together.”
The Stars are now looking at a spot where they need close to 53 points in the final 38 games. It’s a difficult task, and one that starts with a road trip to the Buffalo Sabres for a matinee game on Monday.
“When you lose at home you’ve got to find a way to get the two points on the road,” Ruff said.
1:19 Mikko Koivu scored on the first shot of the game, with some help with Johnny Oduya. Wild 1, Stars 0
3:00 Eric Staal scored on a 2-on-1 rus. Wild 2, Stars 0
4:00 Matt Dumba ended Antti Niemi’s night when he scored on a wrist shot. Wild 3, Stars 0
12:45 Chris Stewart finished off a pretty passing play to give the Wild a four-goal lead. Wild 4, Stars 0
19:53 Antoine Roussel gave the Stars some life and scored on the rush. Wild 4, Stars 1
2:20 Jiri Hudler scored off a rush after John Klingberg and Devin Shore set up the play. Wild 4, Stars 2
6:06 Tyler Seguin scored on a rebound on a delayed penalty. Wild 4, Stars 3
11:13 John Klingberg scored on the power play to tie the game. Wild 4, Stars 4
13:15 Jason Zucker scored after Mikael Granlund forced a turnover and threw the puck at the net. Wild 5, Stars 4