RALEIGH, N.C. -- Alex Nedeljkovic made 12 saves in his season debut for the Carolina Hurricanes, a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars at PNC Arena on Tuesday.
Nedeljkovic was playing his first NHL game since Jan. 23, 2019, after Petr Mrazek (concussion protocol) and James Reimer (lower body) were each injured in a 6-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, when emergency backup goalie David Ayres made eight saves on 10 shots to preserve the victory.
The line of Roope Hintz (one goal, two assists), Denis Gurianov (one goal, one assist) and Jason Dickinson (one goal, one assist) combined for seven points, and Anton Khudobin made 40 saves for the Stars (37-20-6), who are 7-1-1 in their past nine games.
[WATCH: All Stars vs. Hurricanes highlights]
Dallas moved one point ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for second place in the Central Division.
"They're both smart players and fast," Gurianov said of Hintz and Dickinson. "They see the ice well. I played with them (with Texas of the American Hockey League), so I think we understand each other on the ice. I like playing with them."
Sebastian Aho scored to extend his point streak to team-record 13 games for the Hurricanes (35-23-4), who have lost two of their past three games and trail the Columbus Blue Jackets by two points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
"They protect the lead well, but we still generated quite a few opportunities," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We had a few too many grade-A mistakes. All in all, I was not disappointed in that game."
Tyler Seguin scored 51 seconds into the game to give the Stars a 1-0 lead. Brady Skjei couldn't control a pass along the boards, and Jamie Benn sent the turnover in front to Seguin, who got his own rebound and scored over Nedeljkovic's blocker.
Video: DAL@CAR: Seguin nets own rebound for opening goal
"That was a huge goal by Seguin to calm it down a little bit," Stars coach Rick Bowness said. "We needed that early goal to quiet the crowd, and the veteran line came through for us."
Hintz made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 17:20, skating down the wing and deking around Hurricanes defenseman Joel Edmundson before lifting a backhand to the backside post.
Dickinson scored from the left circle after Hintz's initial shot glanced off the end boards on a 3-on-1 rush to push the lead to 3-0 with 51 seconds remaining in the first.
Video: DAL@CAR: Dickinson wires home wrist shot
"It was a good first period," Hintz said. "We didn't give them too many chances, and our goalie was great today. That's the big thing."
Aho drove the net and finished a give-and-go with Jaccob Slavin to cut it to 3-1 at 2:33 of the second. Aho has 19 points (12 goals, seven assists) during his point streak.
Video: DAL@CAR: Aho beats Khudobin at the doorstep
Hintz found Gurianov open in the slot for a wrist shot that extended the lead to 4-1 at 13:45 of the second.
"Those two are so fast," Dickinson said. "You get them the puck with a little bit of space and they're going to expose [defensemen]."
Video: DAL@CAR: Gurianov buries wrist shot from the slot
Carolina outshot Dallas 19-1 in the third period.
"Any time you're down a few goals in the NHL, it's not easy to come back from," Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal said. "I thought we put a lot of shots on net and played our game for the most part, but we've obviously got to clean it up a little bit."
They said it
"We're coming out of the gate strong. When we win, it's pretty much what you saw tonight. Regardless of what the shot clock said, we had a lot of really good chances from playing good defense. When we take care of the details in our zone and get those breaks, that's pretty much how we've been playing." -- Stars coach Rick Bowness
"For me personally, I thought things settled down after the first few shifts. I was trying not to think too much, trying to just play the game. I was definitely real impressed with this team. The trust the guys have in each other is something that really stands out to me." -- Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei on his debut with Carolina
Need to know
Hintz's three-point game was his first in the NHL. … Andrei Svechnikov had the secondary assist on Aho's goal to extend his point streak to 11 games (five goals, eight assists). … Vincent Trocheck had one hit in 17:06 of ice time in his first game with Carolina after being acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers on Monday. Skjei, acquired from the New York Rangers on Monday, had five shots in 20:37. … Aho's point streak is tied with Blaine Stoughton (1981-82) for the third longest in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history, trailing Mike Rogers (18 games in 1980-81; 17 games in 1979-80). ... Anton Forsberg, who has not played an NHL game since March 26, 2018, was Nedeljkovic's backup. ... Dallas won both games against Carolina this season.
Stars: At the Boston Bruins on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, SNE, SNO, NHL.TV)
Hurricanes: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Friday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, ALT, NHL.TV)
Video: Dickinson, Hintz lift Stars to victory