Mar 14, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Ray Whitney (13) prepares for the shoot out during the game against the Anaheim Ducks at the American Airlines Center. The Ducks defeated the Stars 2-1 in the overtime shoot out. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Stars stomp Predators, Look to Playoffs with Eriksson and Whitney Leading in Goals

In stunning fashion, the Dallas Stars defeated the Nashville Predators 5-2 in Nashville last night. The game marks the second consecutive game in which the Stars have scored five goals, and the team’s fourth consecutive win.

Dallas kicked off the game with a goal by Erik Cole, who launched a slap shot past Nashville goalie Chris Mason just six minutes into the game. A quick two and a half minutes later, Dallas pushed the lead to 2-0 with a power play goal scored by Ray Whitney. The goal, paired with his two from Tuesday night’s 5-1 victory over the Kings, put both he and co-veteran Loui Eriksson as the team’s leading goal scorers.

The Predators wouldn’t give up though and brought the game within a goal with only 1:18 remaining in the period. Nashville launched into a power play off a Brenden Dillon interference call with Taylor Beck putting the first puck behind Richard Bachman since he stepped in for Kari Lehtonen in the first period of Tuesday’s game.

The second period belonged to the Stars with both Tom Wandell and Alex Chaisson, who were called up from the Texas Stars after the trade deadline, giving Dallas a three-goal lead. Wandell grabbed a pass from Garbutt just two minutes into the period, and tipped the puck past Mason to put the Stars up 3-1. Chaisson stretched the lead to 4-1 at 11:12, tapping in a pass from Whitney.

Chaisson landed the final goal for the Stars seven minutes into the third period, an unassisted goal that came off a 3-on-2 rush. Nashville tried to battle back, but could only muster one more goal against the Stars. With just under eight minutes remaining in the game, Bobby Butler took a wrist shot off an offensive rush, finding the net behind Bachman for the last time.

The win marked a huge turn around for the Stars, who have been all but counted out of the playoff race since the trade deadline, which found the Stars without captain Brenden Morrow and leading goal scorer Jaromir Jagr. The team now sits a single position out of playoff contention, just two points, a single win, behind the eighth place Detroit Red Wings.

Next for the Stars is yet another inter-division battle against the San Jose Sharks. The game starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. at American Airlines Center and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest Plus.

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Tags: Alex Chaisson Dallas Stars Erik Cole Hockey NHL Ray Whitney Tom Wandell

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