Boston Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez (35) looks back as Dallas Stars forward Jeff Halpern (11) and teammate Stu Barnes, lower left, celebrate a Stars' goal by Joel Lundqvist in the first period of a hockey game, Friday, Oct. 5, 2007, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Dallas, TX -- The Boston Bruins fell to the Dallas Stars, 4-1, Friday night in the Black & Gold's first game of the 2007-08 season. Marty Turco (24 saves) was outstanding in goal for Dallas, while the B's Patrice Bergeron scored his first goal of the season in defeat.
The Bruins did their best to banish thoughts of last year prior to their first game of the regular season. New uniforms, new faces and a new coach led the headlines during the off-season.
One of those new faces was starting in goal for Boston, and Manny Fernandez hoped to help get his club off on the right skate on Friday. But Manny wasn't very busy to start -- instead, a tough Bruins forecheck ensured that the B's led in shots and hits early in the opening session.
"I thought we started the game really well," said new Boston coach Claude Julien after his first regular season game. "(But) there were a couple of costly mistakes."
Because of those breakdowns, Dallas began to spend more and more time in the Boston end as the period wore on, and at 15:19 the Stars Joel Lunqvist took a gorgeous cross-ice pass from Matt Niskanen and put the puck by Fernandez high to the glove side.
A late 5-on-3 power play opportunity threatened to put Boston behind the eight ball, but some heroics by Fernandez and strong defense from the B's penalty killers kept the score at 1-0 going into the first break.
Dallas Stars forward Niklas Hagman (15), of Finland, scores a goal around Boston Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez (35) in the second period of a hockey game, Friday, Oct. 5, 2007, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Unfortunately for the visitors, the Stars came out of the break sparkling.
Niklas Hagman grabbed a puck to the left of the Boston cage and slipped it under a sprawling Fernandez at 2:41.
Boston looked to take some of the shine off the Stars and hoped to swing the momentum back their way with a couple of fights. Boston's Shawn Thornton fought through a near take down to earn a well-earned draw with Todd Fedoruk. Then, in only his first game in the NHL, B's forward Milan Lucic earned a close decision in his inaugural bout with Dallas' Brad Winchester.
"They went out there and responded with a message (that said) you guys are not going to walk all over us," said Julien. "Those are some things you can put in the positive (column), tonight.
"Those things go a long way as far as earning the respect of your teammates."
Despite their pugilistic success, the Bruins went down 3-0 thanks to a goal from Brenden Morrow at 8:49 that sent the sell-out crowd of 18,532 in Dallas' American Airlines Center into a frenzy.
Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (37) gets a shot past Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco (35) in the second period of a hockey game, Friday, Oct. 5, 2007, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
However, a Dallas too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty gave the Bruins a late surge, and a behind the back pass from Peter Schaefer to Patrice Bergeron led to the latter's first goal of the season (and Boston's first goal of 2007-08), on the power play, at 17:59.
The Bruins continued to press throughout the final seconds of the second frame until the buzzer saved the Stars from any further damage.
A decent start in the third period couldn't prevent any more damage to the Bruins, however, and a Sergei Zubov goal made sure that a win looked to be in the stars for Dallas at just 3:39.
"If we can really bear down and cut back on ... mistakes then we'll be rewarded for our efforts," said Julien. "We need to get our noses into those dirty areas.
"That's something that we'll keep working on and pushing the guys to do better.
"And we'll keep working at it until it happens," he said.
Coach Julien and his team will have another shot at the dirty areas on Saturday night versus the Wayne Gretzky coached Phoenix Coyotes.
Notes: Captain Zdeno Chara played 26:55...No player on Dallas played over 25-minutes...Patrice Bergeron had six shots for Boston...Glen Metropolit was a perfect 5-0 on faceoffs. Three Stars: #3 Turco, #2 Zubov, #1 Morrow. ---
1 - 0 DAL
2 - 0 DAL
3 - 0 DAL
3 - 1 DAL
4 - 1 DAL
Hi stick - double minor