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game recap

Antti Niemi, Stars hold off Jets

Makes 28 saves for Dallas in win against Winnipeg

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- Patrick Eaves scored his 100th NHL goal in his return to the lineup, and the Dallas Stars defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 at American Airlines Center on Tuesday.

"I saw it on the sheet going into the season, so I knew I needed one (for 100)," Eaves said. "Nice to get it out of the way. More importantly, it helped toward a divisional win."

Antti Niemi made 28 saves, and Devin Shore had two assists for the Stars, who ended a two-game losing streak at home.

"It wasn't that he was tested in bunches, but he had to make some huge saves for us," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of Niemi. "Breakaway saves, there was a couple game-changers."

The Stars scored their first goal after one of those game-changing saves.

Brett Ritchie gave Dallas a 1-0 lead 14:37 into the first period when he finished a 2-on-1 chance. The Stars began a rush after Niemi made a left-pad save on Shawn Matthias, and Shore connected with Curtis McKenzie on an outlet pass. McKenzie carried the puck into the offensive zone and passed to Ritchie, who beat goalie Michael Hutchinson with a wrist shot on the glove side.

Video: WPG@DAL: Ritchie capitalizes on a two-on-one

Eaves made it 2-0 when he scored a power-play goal at 5:02 of the second period. Hutchinson turned away the initial chance but got tangled up with his defenseman, and Eaves easily scored his first goal of the season in his 550th NHL game. He had been sidelined with a lower-body injury.

Joel Armia capped a frantic 30-second stretch and made it 2-1 with five seconds left in the second period. First, Niemi made a sprawling save on Toby Entrsom with his left pad, then Jamie Benn had a breakaway turned away by Hutchinson at 19:44. Armia scored into the vacated goal after Niemi bobbled the puck behind his net.

"Joel was moving his feet with the puck, and when he does that, boy, he creates some things," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Video: WPG@DAL: Armia capitalizes off of Stars' miscue

Tyler Seguin gave Dallas a 3-1 lead 7:27 into the third period on a wrist shot over Hutchinson's left shoulder.

Mark Scheifele scored with nine seconds remaining to make it 3-2.

 

Goal of the game

Seguin scored in the third period to give Dallas a 3-1 lead, and it ended up as the game-winner. The Stars center picked his spot over Hutchinson's shoulder with a wrist shot. "He ended up making a perfect shot," Hutchinson said. "He didn't have a ton of room there. Blocker side, I didn't raise my shoulder up a bit, and he somehow managed to get it just above there."

Video: WPG@DAL: Seguin beats Hutchinson with quick snap shot

 

Save of the game

Hutchinson made the most difficult save of the game at 13:13 of the first period. Eaves took a low initial shot, and the rebound came out to Radek Faksa, who took a stride to his left and gained control of the puck while Hutchinson fell to his right. Faksa had plenty of net, but Hutchinson was able to stretch out his right hand and make the glove save.

 

Highlight of the game

A couple milestones were reached on the Stars' second goal. In addition to Eaves scoring his 100th NHL goal, Dallas rookie forward Justin Dowling got his first NHL point in his first game. John Klingberg, Dowling and Shore traded passes to set up an initial shot that was turned away by Hutchinson. Dowling then regained possession behind the net and passed to Shore, who patiently waited and passed to Eaves. With Hutchinson tangled up with Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey, Eaves scored with a one-timer. "It felt great. It was nice to do it on a milestone with [Eaves]," Dowling said. "You always want to go out there and contribute and help the team win."

Video: WPG@DAL: Eaves doubles the lead with one-timer PPG

 

Unsung moment of the game

With the Stars on the penalty kill, Gemel Smith forced a turnover in the Jets zone and was tripped in the corner by Toby Enstrom at 4:15 of the second period. After 35 seconds at 4-on-4, Eaves scored the go-ahead goal on the ensuing power play.

 

They said it

"Yeah, those things usually do, right? There was a good energy in the building tonight in terms of on the ice. There was lots of action, lots of chirping, some sticks, so yeah, I would expect so." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice on energy carrying over to the game against the Stars in Winnipeg on Thursday

 

"It's just a calming thing. He's always in the right spot and he works hard. It's just Patty Eaves in a nutshell. He knows where to go, he can shoot the puck. And he works really well with Jamie (Benn) and (Tyler Seguin." -- Stars defenseman Jordie Benn on Patrick Eaves' impact

 
Need to know

Stars center Jason Spezza missed the game with a lower-body injury sustained in practice Monday. … Dallas defenseman Stephen Johns was a healthy scratch after playing in the first four games. … Jets forward Chris Thorburn returned to the lineup after being scratched the past three games.

 

What's next

Jets: Home against the Dallas Stars on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

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

 

Video: Niemi, Seguin help Stars hang on for 3-2 win vs. Jets

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