Stars hang on to defeat Capitals
Dallas has won three in row, Washington rally falls shortby Steve Hunt / NHL.com Correspondent
DALLAS -- Tyler Seguin scored two goals in the second period, and goalie Kari Lehtonen made 20 saves to help the Dallas Stars to a 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals at American Airlines Center on Saturday.
Dallas led 4-0 entering the third period, but Alex Ovechkin, Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky each scored in a 9:51 span to get Washington within a goal.
Stars forwards Mattias Janmark and Jamie Benn each had a goal in the second period before Seguin scored twice in 5:22 to build the four-goal lead. Defenseman Patrik Nemeth had an NHL career-high two assists.
"I thought we played pretty well," Benn said. "I think we outskated them, just tried to drive the tempo up. They got a couple good breaks there in the third, a couple good shots, but we found a way to win."
Video: WSH@DAL: Seguin beats Holtby, Stars take 3-0 lead
With 2:51 remaining, Seguin sustained a cut on his right arm when Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom inadvertently hit him with a skate blade following a faceoff. Seguin required stitches to close the wound and did not return, but he did come onto the ice after being named First Star.
Dallas also lost center Cody Eakin with 6:18 remaining when he was injured on a hit by Washington's Dmitry Orlov near the Capitals bench.
The Stars will recall a forward from Texas of the American Hockey League on Sunday.
"We'll need one," Ruff said. "Obviously, we were down to 12 going into tonight, so we'll see where those guys are at tomorrow."
Video: WSH@DAL: Benn goes top-shelf, extends lead in 2nd
Lehtonen made 101 saves on 109 shots in his past three starts, each a win. He had four in the final 4:13 with the Stars clinging to a one-goal lead.
"I think Kari was excellent," Ruff said. "I think he's really found his game. Maybe a little bit of a gamble on the third one tonight, but we don't have six points if it wasn't for the way he played."
The Stars (36-15-5) have won three in a row. It was the first loss in six games for the Capitals (40-10-4).
"We deserve what we got," Washington coach Barry Trotz said. "We didn't play a complete game. If we're going to be a good team, you got to be consistent through three periods, and we were not."
Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 35th goal, on the power play, to begin Washington's rally.
Video: WSH@DAL: Ovechkin's PP tally puts Capitals on board
"We knew they'd be ramped up, a lot of buildup for this game," Trotz said. "I don't mind that first period. I knew they'd be coming. I thought the chances were similar. Second period, we self-destructed, too many turnovers, light on the puck, lost battles.
"We had some push in the third and played the right way, the way that we felt we needed to play to have success against Dallas. We got it within a puck, but we lost the game totally in the second period. It was all on us."
Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov had two assists.
After Janmark scored off the rush early in the second period, Benn beat Washington goaltender Braden Holtby, who made 21 saves before being replaced by Philipp Grubauer to start the third period, far post with a wrist shot from the right circle at 6:48.
Video: WSH@DAL: Burakovsky scores top-shelf on Lehtonen
"We were turning pucks over, it's on the team," Trotz said of his decision to change goalies. "We're asking [Holtby] to make saves and he makes some incredible saves for us and he covers up a lot of our mistakes, but I was tired of him covering up the mistakes. [Grubauer] went in there and did a great job and made a couple of big saves and held the fort and gave us a chance to get within a puck."
Seguin made it 3-0 with 5:59 remaining when he scored on a wrist shot through Holtby's five-hole from the right circle. He scored his second of the night with 37 seconds remaining in the period when he tapped in a rebound of John Klingberg's shot with Dallas on a 5-on-3 power play.
Ovechkin beat Lehtonen to the short side 4:03 into the third period, Williams roofed a shot at 7:20, and Burakovsky made it 4-3 with his 11th of the season with 6:06 remaining.
Video: WSH@DAL: Hemsky feeds Janmark, Stars take lead in 2nd
The Capitals nearly tied it with 36 seconds remaining, but Tom Wilson's wrist shot from the slot hit the far post.
"Tom Wilson, an inch more inside that post, would have tied it up, and we'd probably be looking at overtime," Trotz said.
Dallas has won nine in a row against Washington.