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game recap

Five-goal first period sparks Stars past Maple Leafs

Dallas builds big lead in return from break

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars scored five times in the first period of a 6-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at American Airlines Center on Tuesday.

"I thought we came out with a lot of energy, skated well," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We played probably the best first period all year."

Dan Hamhuis, Devin Shore, Brett Ritchie and Tyler Seguin each had a multipoint game, and Dallas (21-20-1) extended its point streak to four games.

 

WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Stars highlights

 

Kari Lehtonen made 40 saves, including 14 in the third period when Toronto (23-16-9) had a 14-1 shot advantage.

"Just one shift at a time," Lehtonen said. "You know they're going to come hard, and we're trying to defend. It's just tough to play in that situation, but as a goalie it's going one shift at a time and trying to win that shift."

Shore scored 2:53 into the first period on a drive to the net. He outskated Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner and tucked a shot around goalie Frederik Andersen's right pad for a 1-0 lead.

Radek Faksa scored on the rebound of a Patrick Sharp shot 1:44 later to make it 2-0.

Dallas pushed its lead to 3-0 when Lauri Korpikoski scored on a backhand shot at 11:18. Andersen was pulled and replaced by Curtis McElhinney after making five saves on eight shots.

Video: TOR@DAL: Benn sneaks puck past McElhinney for PPG

"He was in there right with us too," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "Coach, players, goalies, everybody, we were bad, so let's get on the flight and let's get regrouped.

Tyler Bozak scored on the power play at 13:50 to make it 3-1, but Ritchie pushed the Dallas lead to 4-1 at 16:04 when he went to the net and finished a pass from Julius Honka.

Jamie Benn gave the Stars a 5-1 lead when he beat McElhinney with a wrist shot on the power play with 1:38 left in the first.

"I don't know what it is, we were just kind of flat-footed, and they came out hard," Bozak said. "They're a good team, and you got to give them credit. They made the most of their chances early in the game and kind of put us behind."

Toronto capitalized on a turnover by Honka, and Nikita Soshnikov scored his third goal of the season to make it 5-2 at 4:19 of the second period.

Jason Spezza gave Dallas a 6-2 lead at 7:49 of the second when he scored on the rebound of Seguin's wraparound attempt.

Mitchell Marner scored at 10:25 of the second to make it 6-3.

Toronto appeared to score with 8:43 remaining in the third period to get within two, but the goal was disallowed after video review showed Soshnikov kicked Lehtonen's stick to put the puck in the net.

"I wasn't worried the first couple minutes because I thought their guy just pushed me into the net before the puck," Lehtonen said. "But the replays revealed some more stuff. Yeah, it was good because there would have been lots of time left."

Video: TOR@DAL: Spezza kicks loose puck to stick and scores

 

Goal of the game

Shore, who grew up a Maple Leafs fan in Ajax, Ontario, dropped his shoulder and skated around defenseman Jake Gardiner on the backhand before going to his forehand to beat Andersen from in close.

"It felt really good. It was exciting. I grew up watching them, I was definitely excited for this game," Shore said.

Video: TOR@DAL: Shore opens scoring with great solo effort

 

Save of the game

McElhinney denied Patrick Eaves with his glove on a breakaway with 19 seconds remaining in the second period to keep the Maple Leafs within striking distance.

Video: TOR@DAL: McElhinney gloves away Eaves' breakaway try

 

Highlight of the game

Ritchie scored the game-winner after a sharp pass from Honka.

"Honka actually made a similar play on his first point this season, just walked the wall, so I was looking for the pass," Ritchie said.

Video: TOR@DAL: Ritchie chips home Honka's pass in front

 
Unsung performance of the game

Stars defensemen Jordie Benn and Stephen Johns combined for eight hits and five blocked shots.

 

They said it

"It was a bad game. They got some bounces in the first period, and it was 5-1. We fought hard, but it's not enough. We just have to get better." -- Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov

 

"I thought Kari [Lehtonen] played very well. Made many timely saves. I thought we got sloppy at times in the second, and he had a couple real good saves to keep it where it's at. And I thought he had some real good saves in the third period again." -- Stars coach Lindy Ruff

 
Need to know

Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly missed his sixth consecutive game with a lower-body injury. Rielly took part in the morning skate but decided he didn't want to push the injury after one practice.

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: At the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; FS-MW, TSN4, NHL.TV)

Stars: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, TSN3, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Five-goal 1st period powers Stars past Leafs, 6-3

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