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Seguin, Sharp lead Stars past Red Wings

by Paul Harris /

DETROIT -- Patrick Sharp and Tyler Seguin each had a goal and an assist to lead the Dallas Stars to a 4-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday.

Valeri Nichushkin and Cody Eakin also scored for Dallas (12-3-0), which won its third straight game. Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves for the Stars, who are off to the best 15-game start in franchise history. Their previous best was 10-3-2 in 1980-81, when they were the Minnesota North Stars.

"We wanted to get off to a good start and we have and we'll enjoy it for a while. And we'll put it behind us in an hour," Dallas Coach Lindy Ruff said.

The Stars led 2-1 before Seguin hit the empty net with 1:08 remaining in the third period. Eakin scored a shorthanded, empty-net goal 49 seconds later.

"We've got to be comfortable. It was a 4-1 game, but we've got to be comfortable playing 2-1, 3-2, one-goal games," said Seguin, the NHL scoring leader with 23 points. "Obviously, we're happy with the way we played."

Gustav Nyquist scored for Detroit (7-6-1), which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

"I thought we started fine, and then I thought we let the momentum get away from us a little bit," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "I thought there was opportunities even in the first to hit the net. The shots were 15-8 [after the first period]; I think they should have been 15-12. I just think we've got to hit the net way more."

Jimmy Howard made 20 saves before leaving with 12:51 left in the third period after taking a knee to the head by the Stars' Jason Spezza during a goal-mouth scramble. Howard was replaced by Petr Mrazek, who stopped the two shots he faced.

Blashill said that Howard did not go through the concussion protocol.

"He has some contact issues from being bumped in the head," said Blashill, who added that Howard is fine and wanted to go back into the game.

Lehtonen made a glove save on Mike Green's wrist shot from the high slot off the rush with 3:40 left in the third period to preserve the 2-1 lead.

"I thought we managed it well and were smart with the puck in the third period and didn't give up too much," Spezza said.

Sharp's power-play goal 7:22 into the game gave the Stars a 1-0 lead. It came 18 seconds after Dylan Larkin went off for interference. Sharp beat Howard with a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle for his sixth goal of the season and second in two games.

"It wasn't the prettiest game on our side, but we got an early lead and we hung on," Sharp said. "We won a few battles and our goaltender played well and we limited chances."

His goal came off a pass from defenseman John Klingberg.

"I got a lot of room to move on the blue line. I wanted to shoot the puck, but they had guys in the lane," Klingberg said.

Nichushkin made it 2-0 with 4:41 left in the first period when he scored off his own rebound. It was Nichushkin's first goal of the season and came in his 100th NHL game. It also was his first goal since March 28, 2014. A hip injury limited Nichushkin to eight games last season.

"How I was celebrating, it spoke for itself. It was a big relief," Nichushkin said through an interpreter.

Nyquist scored a power-play goal with 27 seconds left in the first period when he redirected Niklas Kronwall's slap pass past Lehtonen. It was Nyquist's sixth goal of the season.

"Obviously, when Nyquist goal that goal at the end of the second it was a big goal for us, and then we played pretty good hockey last two periods," Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "Seems like whoever got the puck in the opposite end created a lot of chances. They had some good shifts and they had some good shifts there."

Red Wings defenseman Mike Green had an assist on Nyquist's goal. It was the 250th assist of his career and came in his return after missing six games because of a shoulder injury.

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