Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff had to go back a ways to think of a sloppier performance than the one he saw on Monday night, as his team fell 5-3 to the Wild in Minnesota to cut their series lead down to 2-1.
"We didn't play near as well as we needed to play," Ruff said, per Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. "That's probably as bad as I've seen us play in maybe five weeks."
Dallas got off to a quick 2-0 lead on a pair of Patrick Sharp goals but, aside from sniffing a comeback briefly in the third, the rest of the game was largely dominated by a visibly desperate Wild team. They notched four unanswered goals before the Stars pulled within one at 4-3 in the third, and then Jason Pominvile added an empty netter to ice the win for Minnesota.
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Meanwhile on the Stars’ side, the problems were myriad.
"A lot of it was execution, playmaking, our transition game from defense to forwards. We turned some pucks over that cost us goals," Ruff said. "We turned over plenty of pucks. We were just slow, we were slow making plays."
The Stars will get a chance at redemption on Wednesday night in Minnesota.
"We've been a good team at responding," Ruff said. "It's going to be a heck of a series. The parity in this league is incredible, and if you don't play well, you're not going to win. We didn't play well enough to win."