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Stars edge Sabres for Ruff's 600th win

by Steve Hunt

DALLAS -- Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff registered his 600th victory as an NHL coach in a 3-2 win against the club Ruff used to coach, the Buffalo Sabres, on Monday night at American Airlines Center.

"It means I'm on my way to 700. I said to somebody, probably 30 more losses and I've got 500 of those too," Ruff said. "I think it means I've had a lot of good players. I've coached a lot of good players. I had some real good teams. Those wins for the most part belong to the guys on the ice who go out and get them for you. Guys went out and got one for me tonight."

Rookie wing Alex Chiasson scored the game-winner for Dallas at 10:25 of the third period when a shot from Stars captain Jamie Benn deflected off Chiasson's right leg for a power-play goal.

"I wish it went off my stick," Chiasson said. "It hit me in the shin guard there. I think once they start going in, hopefully I can stay hot and put a streak together."

Dallas (29-22-10, 68 points) received two assists from Ray Whitney and Kari Lehtonen stopped 21 shots to end Buffalo's three-game winning streak.

"Whitney played well there. He made a play on the first goal, and he was in on the last one," Ruff said. "He had two or three good opportunities himself."

Buffalo received two goals from Tyler Ennis and two assists from Matt Moulson.

"[We need] better starts. We got in a hole early," Ennis said. "They took it to us. We took penalties and they really dominated us in the first period. Jhonas [Enroth] played great, but we need a better start."

Despite being outshot 16-5 in the opening period, Buffalo led 1-0 at the first intermission after Ennis scored with 2:43 remaining in the period.

After Jordie Benn turned the puck over at the Dallas blue line, Drew Stafford collected the puck, dashing up the left side of the ice before feeding Ennis, who finished with a one-timer over Lehtonen's glove for his 15th goal of the season.

"I thought Jhonas gave them a heck of a first period," Ruff said. "We had 10 or 11 pretty good opportunities. Then we end up making a mistake, and we're down 1-0."

Dallas had a chance late in the first period when Cody Eakin rang a one-timer from the left point off the post at 16:39.

The Stars answered quickly in the second period when Jordie Benn redeemed himself with his third of the season 1:30 into the period. Benn beat Enroth with a slapper from the left point to tie the game early in the second.

Dallas then took their first lead late in the second when Alex Goligoski scored his first goal in 47 games with 5.1 seconds remaining. Ryan Garbutt deflected a shot from the right point by Trevor Daley, a shot which rang off the right post.

Shawn Horcoff got the ensuing rebound and slipped the puck to Goligoski, who finished for his third of the season at 19:54.

Getting goals from two defensemen in Jordie Benn and Goligoski was a big positive for the Stars, who usually lean heavily on captain Jamie Benn, second on the team with 54 points (32 assists) and center Tyler Seguin, who leads Dallas with 57 points (33 assists).

"It's usually the Benn-Seguin show," Jordie Benn said. "It's nice when someone else can chip in."

Buffalo (18-35-8, 44 points) pulled even early in the third when Ennis scored his second of the game off a carom. Moulson deflected Jamie McBain's wrister, which ended up striking the end boards. Ennis was waiting at the right post and quickly flipped the puck in to make it 2-2.

The Stars then pulled ahead to stay at 10:25 of the third when Chiasson got in front of Benn's shot for his first goal on 12 games. Dallas went on the power play at 8:40 when Matt D'Agostini was whistled for hooking.

Enroth stopped 36 shots for Buffalo.

"The first couple periods, I didn't think we were in the game at all and if it wasn't for Jhonas, I don't think that the score would have been as close as it was," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. "I thought in the third period we played a bit better. We took a bad penalty again. They capitalized and that was the difference."

Dallas defenseman Brenden Dillon returned to the blue line after missing a 4-2 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday with a lower-body injury. Ruff felt his team definitely got a boost from Dillon's return.

"He's a big piece. We missed him the other night," Ruff said. "He's a horse on defense. He plays a physical game and he skates well."

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