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Rask leads Bruins past Stars

by Steve Hunt /

DALLAS -- The Boston Bruins wanted to limit the number of quality chances the Dallas Stars had. They did just that, and combined with 36 saves by Tuukka Rask and a goal and assist by Dougie Hamilton, the Bruins defeated the Stars 3-1 on Tuesday at American Airlines Center.

"(We) did a good job," Rask said. "We did block a lot of shots, took seams away. It was a fun game to watch, I bet. There were a lot of chances both sides, a lot of power plays. We were able to get a couple of goals there."

Boston (25-16-6), trailed 1-0 after Vernon Fiddler scored 6:46 into the second period of his 700th NHL game, but the Bruins responded with goals by Loui Eriksson, Gregory Campbell and Hamilton. Rask stopped the final 24 shots he faced after Fiddler scored his sixth of the season on a backhander. Campbell broke a 1-1 tie late in the second period, and Hamilton scored a power-play goal in the third.

"We had some real good sticks there," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "They had some real good back-door opportunities that our sticks were there and if not, then Tuukka was."

Boston generated the first quality chance when a snap from Patrice Bergeron 6:58 into the first period deflected off the crossbar.

The Bruins apparently scored at 10:38 of the first when Campbell beat Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen with a wrister from the slot. However, the goal was nullified after Boston's Jordan Caron was called for hooking Dallas defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, an infraction that forced Oleksiak to turn the puck over to Campbell.

The Stars lost left wing Erik Cole late in the first period with an upper-body injury. He did not return.

"He's going to be out for a period of time by the looks of it. I can't give you a time frame, but it looks a little bit longer than shorter, this one," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "I wouldn't expect him back post-break."

Dallas (21-18-7), which saw its two-game winning streak ended, took the lead when Fiddler flicked a backhander over Rask's glove. Fiddler had a great opportunity for a second goal at 13:22, but his wrist shot from the right circle instead found the near post.

"You try to just play it as another game. But 700 games for a guy that's like me is pretty good, it's a pretty big accomplishment," Fiddler said. "I've had great teammates and great coaches and my family's helped me out. It's more of an accomplishment for all of them than myself."

Ruff called Fiddler's near-miss the turning point in the game for Dallas.

"They come down the other way and we lose coverage, and they end up scoring. I think that really kind of turned the game in their favor, just for maybe 4 or 5 minutes," Ruff said. "We didn't make a lot of mistakes, but we made one there and made a coverage mistake on the point shot."

Boston tied it at 14:17 when ex-Star forward Eriksson scored his 11th goal of the season, a wrist shot from the slot that beat a diving Lehtonen. Eriksson had plenty of room to shoot after taking a backhand pass from Carl Soderberg.

The Bruins went ahead to stay when Campbell tapped in a rebound with 1:33 remaining in the middle period. Lehtonen stopped Craig Cunningham's wrist shot from the right point with his pad, but the rebound fell to the near post and Campbell capitalized for his fifth goal of the season and first of 2015.

"It was just a sheer effort from that whole line," Julien said of Campbell's goal. "I thought [Cunningham] played a great game there. [Campbell], he needed three tries to get one of the goals to count in this building, so finally gets one. It was nice to see him get that break."

Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski felt the end of the second period was where Boston took control of what had been an even game to that point.

"We got away from our game a little bit and they hemmed us in [our defensive zone] a couple of shifts. That's how they got momentum," Goligoski said. "They got a couple [goals] there and that was the difference."

Dallas came close to tying the game 1:29 into the third period when Tyler Seguin fired a rising wrist shot from the left circle during a power play. The shot beat Rask but rang loudly off the crossbar.

"It's a tough one to swallow, it's pretty comparable to that game against Winnipeg (last Thursday)," Seguin said of the loss. "We did enough to win the game so it's difficult to swallow that one. We have got to get our rest here on the break and get ready to be the best team out there."

Boston made it a two-goal game at 7:41 when Hamilton beat Lehtonen to his short side for a power-play goal. Lehtonen was screened by Soderberg and didn't see Hamilton's wrist shot from the right circle until the last moment.

The Bruins were on the power play after Dallas defenseman Jason Demers was called for elbowing Soderberg at 7:04.

It was definitely nice to get one there," Eriksson said. "That was a great play by Dougie to get that one."

Dallas forward Colton Sceviour rang the near post with a wrist shot from the left circle with 6:25 remaining in regulation.

"Posts haven't been very friendly to us this year," Ruff said.

Lehtonen finished with 24 saves.

Boston killed off all six Dallas power plays.

"I think we had good sticks and stuff and then obviously, (it) comes down to the goalie as well," Hamilton said of the penalty kill. "It's good saves and good clears from the front of the net. I think we can probably give that to Tuukka for playing so well."

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