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Stars Snap Bruins' Streak with 4-2 Win

by Steve Hunt /
DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars' success on New Year's Eve trumped the Boston Bruins' seven-game winning streak.

Trevor Daley had a goal and two assists and Kari Lehtonen made 18 saves as the Stars beat the red-hot Bruins 4-2 on Saturday night, giving them a 9-4-2 on New Year's Eve since moving to Dallas from Minnesota in 1993. The loss ended the Bruins' seven-game streak and was just their third regulation defeat in 25 games since the beginning of November (21-3-1).

"It was us. We didn't play a very good game from the get go," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "From the first guy to the last guy tonight, I don't think we had a very strong game. It's unfortunate but those are things that will maybe help us in the upcoming game. We understand now we have to bounce back."

The win ended a two-game slide for the Stars that included a 4-1 home loss to the last-place Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

"It was a good rebound game for us," said forward Jamie Benn, who had a pair of assists. "We came out with a good team effort tonight, it took everyone, and it's a big two points." 

Loui Eriksson, Michael Ryder and Tom Wandell also scored for the Stars.

"It means a lot to our club because here is a team that's 21-2 in their last 23 games pounding away at the rest of the League. And we give a committed effort tonight and get a win," Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said. "I thought we were solid 5-on-5. We didn't give up a lot. Games like this just make our team better."

Dallas got an early two-man advantage when Chris Kelly was called for hooking at 2:08 and Dennis Seidenberg earned a delay of game call seven seconds later by putting the puck over the glass. Dallas capitalized at 3:21 when Eriksson beat Tim Thomas with a wrister from just inside the right circle. It was Eriksson's 13th of the season -- and the Stars' first power-play goal in four games.

Boston got even at 11:39 during a 4-on-4 when Tyler Seguin redirected a long-range blast by David Krejci past Lehtonen for his 15th of the season.  The Bruins nearly went ahead four minutes later when Seguin beat Lehtonen with a wrist shot but nailed the right post.

Dallas then took command with a pair of late goals. Daley beat Thomas with a 45-foot bomb that deflected off the goaltender's back and into the back of the net at 16:59. Ryder, an ex-Bruin, made it 3-1 at 19:20, beating Thomas with a backhand following a spectacular move to create some space in front of the net.

"It's very nice to score against them, but I'm just happy to get the win and show that we can compete against the top teams in the league," Ryder said.

Dallas took a 4-1 lead with one minute left in the second when Adam Burish fed Wandell on a 2-on-1 for a tap-in for his second of the season. Boston made it a two-goal game again when Milan Lucic's long slapper sailed over Lehtonen's blocker at 1:08 of the third.

The Stars played the final period with just five healthy defensemen after rookie blueliner Philip Larsen was unable to return.

"He got his bell rung a little bit," Gulutzan said. "We can't say yet what's going on. He wanted to play, so it's just precautionary a little bit. We'll see. I think he's going to be fine the next couple of days."

Ryder, a member of Boston's Stanley Cup-winning team last spring, had a chance to score again but was denied on a breakaway by Thomas, who finished with 23 saves.

"We weren't a very good team," Julien said. "They were physical, skating well and were without a doubt the better team."

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