“We had some close calls, some back door plays that didn't work,” Nelson said. “If you can't execute tape-to-tape passes it doesn't matter what you draw up. When our team is on it looks great. Tonight, we weren't on. Our skills guys were fighting the puck. It was one of those nights.”
The Barons stayed within striking range, trailing 1-0 midway through the third period, before Texas' Luke Gazdic scored with 9:21 left. Brenden Dillon added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Texas' first goal appeared to score off a high stick, but the Cox Center's replay system was unavailable.
“They played their systems well and we weren't ready from the get-go,” Schultz said. “We didn't work hard enough tonight. We weren't ready from the very start and they were. I think they wanted it more tonight and it showed.”
Nelson tweaked his lineup in the third period. A week ago, he moved Taylor Hall off the No. 1 line to try and spread out scoring. In the third period, Nelson put Hall back with Eberle and Mark Arcobello. OKC outshot the Stars 9-5 in the final period but failed to score.
“I was just trying to spark something,” Nelson said. “We were stagnant. The first period was pretty awful. The second period we only gave up six shots, but nothing was happening offensively. We had more energy in the third period, but it was too little, too late.”