LAST SEASON: 42-32-8. Sixth in Central Division.
COACH: Jim Montgomery (first season, first NHL season).
ADDED: LW Blake Comeau, RW Valeri Nichushkin, D Roman Polak, G Anton Khudobin.
LOST: F Antoine Roussel, F Curtis McKenzie. D Dan Hamhuis, D Greg Pateryn, G Kari Lehtonen.
The Dallas Stars brought back their Stanley Cup-winning coach and made a few somewhat pricey acquisitions last offseason.
With those significant changes, it looked like that fall from top seed in the Western Conference one season to missing the playoffs the next might just be a blip on the way to bigger things.
Instead, they fell agonizingly short of the postseason because of a late-season slump.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jamie Benn and the Dallas Stars won't be in the playoffs. Still, they gave the Los Angeles Kings a good preview of how tough raising the Stanley Cup might be.
Benn had a natural hat trick in the first period and the Stars beat the Kings 4-2 on Saturday night.
It was Benn's second hat trick in three games and the fourth of his career. Benn has seven goals during a three-game scoring streak.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Calling it "a lucky play," Jamie Benn stole the puck from Tomas Hertl and scored the go-ahead goal with 3:06 left before tacking on an empty-netter for the hat trick in the Dallas Stars' 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
"It was just a read," Benn said. "I'll take it."
So will the Stars, who ended a seven-game road losing streak.
"We played our best third period in a long time," coach Ken Hitchcock said.
DALLAS (AP) — Once the Boston Bruins broke through in the third period, they couldn't be stopped.
David Pastrnak snapped a tie with 12 seconds left and the Bruins scored three straight goals in the third to rally past the fading Dallas Stars 3-2 on Friday night.
"We said between periods we just need the one goal," Pastrnak said. "If we get the first one, we're going to get another."
TORONTO (AP) — James van Riemsdyk had his third career hat trick and Mitch Marner scored the winning goal in a shootout to lift Toronto over the Dallas Stars 6-5 on Wednesday night, extending the Maple Leafs' franchise-record home winning streak to 11 games.
Marner beat Kari Lehtonen in the third round of the shootout, completing Toronto's comebacks from 4-2 and 5-4 deficits in the third period.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Pekka Rinne stopped 26 shots, Ryan Hartman scored at 5:33 of the third period and the Nashville Predators beat the Dallas Stars 2-0 Tuesday night for a franchise-record ninth straight victory.
The Predators extended the NHL's longest active winning streak. The defending Western Conference champs also padded their lead atop both the conference and the Central Division.
DALLAS (AP) — Craig Anderson was in good spirits after Erik Karlsson's goal 2:19 into overtime lifted the Ottawa Senators over the Dallas Stars 3-2 in overtime on Monday night.
Anderson, who made 31 saves, spoke tongue-in-cheek about 3-on-3 play in OT and even threw in a Scandinavian pun.
"I think 3-on-3 is one of our strong suits. Maybe we should try to take coinciding penalties throughout the game and get 3-on-3 going in the regular game.
BOSTON (AP) — Tyler Seguin made a move at the left circle to get past one defender, then skated into the slot as the other two Bruins went to the ice.
He swooped wide to Anton Khudobin's glove side, inducing the goalie to leave his skates as well, and then flipped the puck into the net for the game-winner.
NEW YORK (AP) — Tyler Pitlick scored twice and Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists, leading the Dallas Stars to a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.
Alexander Radulov and Remi Elie also scored for the Stars, who won their second straight after a three-game skid. Kari Lehtonen stopped 32 shots for his 300th career victory, and John Klingberg had two assists.
NEW YORK (AP) — After a game in which Dallas got balanced scoring to cruise to its second straight win, Stars coach Ken Hitchcock gave all the credit to goalie Kari Lehtonen.
Lehtonen stopped 32 shots to earn his 300th career victory, becoming the 33rd goalie in NHL history to accomplish the feat, and Dallas beat the New York Islanders 5-2 Wednesday night.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Dallas Stars put themselves in position for a big win on Monday night. It just took them a while to finish off the New York Rangers, thanks to Ondrej Pavelec.
Jason Spezza scored in the shootout, and the Stars snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Rangers.
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Stars coach Ken Hitchcock pulled goalie Kari Lehtonen less than a minute into the second period against the Edmonton Oilers. The move paid off as replacement Ben Bishop shut out the Oilers over the next 39 minutes.
After the game, Hitchcock had praise for his starter.
"Ben was good, but if it wasn't for Kari in the first 10 minutes, we wouldn't have been in the game," Hitchcock said.
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Kari Lehtonen had a rough beginning as a backup goalie with the Dallas Stars this season.
In just his second start of the season, Lehtonen made 29 saves to backstop the Stars to a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.
DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Stars have announced their buyout of the final year of goalie Antti Niemi's contract, a plan that will spread the $3 million payment over two seasons for an annual salary cap hit of $1.5 million.
A person with direct knowledge of the decision has confirmed to The Associated Press that the Dallas Stars have placed goalie Antti Niemi on waivers with the intention to buy out the final year of his contract.
The person spoke to The AP on the condition of anonymity on Monday because the Stars have not announced the move, which was first reported by the Dallas Morning News.
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Stars have locked up a goalie with Stanley Cup Final experience in hopes of solving one of their biggest problems.
Ben Bishop signed a six-year, $29.5 million deal with the Stars, whose announcement Friday came only three days after the team acquired rights to the 30-year-old goalie from the Los Angeles Kings. Dallas gave up a fourth-round pick in next month's NHL draft.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dallas Stars acquired the rights to goalie Ben Bishop from the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday for a fourth-round pick in the upcoming draft.
Bishop will be an unrestricted free agent this summer unless Dallas signs him before July 1, but the Stars clearly hope to secure the two-time Vezina Trophy finalist as their new starting goalie.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — With no playoffs to look forward to, the Dallas Stars are stuck being spoilers. They just wish they didn't have so much experience in that role.
Jason Spezza scored, Kari Lehtonen earned his third shutout of the season and Dallas beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Saturday night.
MONTREAL (AP) — The biggest ovation at the Bell Centre didn't come for Carey Price's stellar goaltending or for Brendan Gallagher's tiebreaking goal. It was for an assist by veteran defenseman Andrei Markov.
DALLAS (AP) — Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves for his 36th career shutout Monday night. And still, one of the toughest shots he faced came before the game.
"He was ready to go today, just because I hit him up high in warmups," Dallas Stars teammate Patrick Sharp said. "I was a little worried. When he made those first couple saves, I was breathing a little bit easier."
Lehtonen thought Sharp's shot helped him get in the right frame of mind before his 1-0 win over the San Jose Sharks.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said he needed more from his leaders after a string of demoralizing losses.
Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn stepped up to the challenge
Seguin scored on the power play in the third period and the Stars beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Thursday night to snap a three-game slide.
"The guys did a great job responding," Seguin said. "Our compete level was a lot higher, just our will. ... We were missing it the last few games."
DALLAS (AP) — Defenseman Fredrik Claesson scored his first NHL goal and added an assist to help the Ottawa Senators win their fourth straight game, 5-2 over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.
Ottawa moved within four points of first-place Montreal in the Atlantic Division. The Senators' winning streak began after they acquired Viktor Stalberg and Alexandre Burrows near the trade deadline.
Craig Anderson made 35 saves and tied the Ottawa franchise record with his 146th victory.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Even if Dallas Stars players didn't know how much they've dominated the Capitals lately, they were well aware of Washington's home winning streak.
"Yeah," forward Patrick Sharp said. "We all were."
Behind 42 saves from goaltender Kari Lehtonen, the Stars beat the Capitals 4-2 Monday night to snap that home winning streak at 15 and home point streak at 17.
It was the NHL-leading Capitals' first regulation loss at home since Dec. 17 and their first of any kind at home since Dec. 29.
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Dallas Stars finally won one on the road.
John Klingberg scored the winning goal with 1:07 left and the Stars beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Saturday night.
The Stars won for the fourth time in six games and snapped a six-game road losing streak. Their last road win was on Jan. 17, a 7-6 win at the New York Rangers.
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — John Klingberg scored the winning goal with 1:07 left and the Dallas Stars beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Saturday night.
Klingberg shot from the right circle and the puck went high into the net over the shoulder of James Reimer. The Stars won for the fourth time in six games.
Jamie Benn also scored a goal and had an assist for Dallas. Kari Lehtonen made 40 saves. Tyler Seguin had two assists.
DALLAS (AP) — Antoine Roussel might be buying lunch for his Dallas Stars teammates for a while.
The fan favorite netted his first career hat trick, captain Jamie Benn scored 3:47 into overtime and the Stars rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday night.
"He bought lunch today, so I think he's going to have to do that again," Benn said.
DALLAS (AP) — In a period that included goals from stars Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, a rare one from Trevor van Riemsdyk proved to be the difference.
Van Riemsdyk put in a rebound for his second goal of the season with 4:03 left, lifting Chicago over the Dallas Stars 5-3 on Saturday night. Goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped a close-range shot by Artem Anisimov, but van Riemsdyk followed to put the puck under Lehtonen and make it 4-3.
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Stars have acquired veteran goaltender Justin Peters from the Arizona Coyotes in a four-player trade involving mostly prospects.
The Stars also added minor league defenseman Justin Hache in the deal Wednesday while sending young forwards Brendan Ranford and Branden Troock to the Coyotes.
DALLAS (AP) — Kari Lehtonen made 40 saves and five Dallas players scored in the first period to send the Stars past the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on Tuesday night.
Dallas took a 3-0 lead on goals by Devin Shore, Radek Faksa and Lauri Korpikoski. After Korpikoski's goal at 11:18, Curtis McElhinney replaced Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen.
Tyler Bozak scored on a power play at 13:50 of the first for Toronto, but Brett Ritchie and Jamie Benn answered to give the Stars a 5-1 lead after one.
DALLAS (AP) — Desperate for a boost going into the All-Star break, the Dallas Stars got one thanks to Patrick Sharp and Kari Lehtonen.
Sharp scored twice for the second time in five games and the Stars rallied from an early two-goal deficit to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on Thursday night.
Sharp upped his total to six goals this season and Lehtonen improved to 10-13-6. He allowed one goal and made 21 saves after replacing Antti Niemi to start the second period.
DALLAS (AP) — Chris Stewart scored in the fifth round of a shootout, lifting the Minnesota Wild past the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Stewart moved the puck to his backhand and slid the puck in under Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen, who got a piece of it.
Patrick Eaves and Jamie Benn had scored for the Stars in the shootout, but Jason Pominville and Mikko Koivu matched them. Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk stopped Jason Spezza before Stewart's shot won the game.
DALLAS (AP) — Jay Beagle was surprised to get an early shift in overtime. He ended up winning the game and equaling his career high in goals and points.
The Washington center scored 19 seconds into the extra period and the Capitals rallied to beat the Dallas Stars 4-3 on Saturday night.
Evgeny Kuznetsov skated behind the net and put the puck in front to Beagle. His wrist shot beat goalie Kari Lehtonen, who got tangled up with a defender and lost his footing.