It was the worst-of-the-worst for a young team, and a losing record for the most embarrassing game in hockey history.
Stars fans had to endure it.
That was when it was over.
But that game wasn’t all bad for the Stars.
It was also a turning point for the franchise.
It gave the Stars hope that they could overcome the adversity of losing in the postseason.
They were the defending Stanley Cup champs and they were finally in the mix for the NHL’s first overall draft pick, the next in line for a Hall of Fame career.
The Stars were supposed to be on the rise and now they were going to have to figure out how to beat a team that they’d lost to in the first place.
But it wasn’t just a matter of winning games, it was also about finding a way to win without losing.
“We had a great team, a great group of guys,” said Benn, the first overall pick.
“And then you go down and you can see that it’s not good enough.”
The Stars have won eight of their past 10 games and have earned a 4-2-1 record in their past nine, including the playoffs.
They have outscored opponents by a total of 31-12 in those games.
The only thing that has changed is that they’ve gone to the net more, with the Stars outscoring opponents by 16 in the final 10 minutes of the game.
The last time the Stars went that long without scoring was Oct. 18, when they were outshot 13-1 in the third period.
“I think it was just getting to the zone and making a play,” Benn said.
“That’s all you can really do when you’re out of the zone.
You just have to get a lot of pucks to get the net open.”
This is how it all started for the new Stars, who entered the playoffs with the worst record in the NHL and were coming off a loss at home to the New York Rangers.
They had been in the midst of a six-game losing streak, but they were just three points out of a playoff spot and were looking for a way out of it.
They didn’t get it.
The Kings had been dominating the Ducks and the Kings had looked so good that they were even in the race for the best record in North America.
But now, the Kings were winning by 14.
“The first three games, we weren’t even in it,” Benn recalled.
“You’re just sitting there, and you’re like, ‘Oh, my god, what am I doing?”’
“When you play this game, you don’t want to lose, and that’s what happened.” “
Then the first period started, and we’re up two in the last five minutes, and it just spiraled,” Benn remembered.
“When you play this game, you don’t want to lose, and that’s what happened.”
The Kings were in the middle of a 5-0 run, but the Stars had a chance to tie it with 5:02 left in the period.
But the Kings’ goalie stopped three of four shots.
They couldn’t find a way through the Stars defense, forcing a penalty that gave the Ducks a 3-2 lead with 2:34 left in regulation.
The Ducks had a couple of chances to tie the game, but none came close to tying it.
“At that point, the coach had the puck, and he had the stick out,” Benn remembers.
“He’s just waiting for it to be over.
Then, the puck is over.
And it’s just going in the net.
That’s the kind of game it was.
The second period ended up being the difference in the game.”
“You just have no idea what’s going on,” Benn continued.
“Just to watch the refs call it, and just see it just go in.
It’s just the same old thing.
It just feels like it.
You can’t really understand why.
And then the third, it’s over.
You’ve got to figure something out.
And they’re still going at it.
So, you just kind of feel like you’ve just got to go out and find a solution and figure something else out.
You kind of get frustrated with the ref and you feel like, well, what’s wrong with this situation?”
The Ducks didn’t have the best shot at winning, but when they did, the Stars were able to put a stop to it.
Stars defenseman Trevor Daley was credited with six assists, including two on Benn’s goal.
But he was also penalized five times.
The penalty was for a high hit on defenseman Chris Stewart on the Kings defense.
The next shift, Stewart had a bad hit on Dallas goalie Mike Smith and Daley picked up a minor penalty for boarding.
“It wasn’t really an offensive hit,” Benn explained. “His