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Asked and answered: Fast start propels Stars to first home win over Sens

Pavelski and Faksa score for Dallas, which earns its second straight victory to open the homestand

by Jeff Odom @jeffodom /

DALLAS -- As the Stars prepared to kick off a four-game homestand Monday, Jim Montgomery knew just how important a quick start would be against the Senators.

Coming off the road and playing in its 11th game in 19 days with plenty of travel in between, sluggishness out of the gate from Dallas was the coach's biggest concern.

"After a long road trip, usually that first game at home, you get back and it's a little bit of a sluggish start," Montgomery said before the game. "But we can't have anymore sluggish starts. We're behind the eight-ball."

By the time puck drop rolled around, the Stars made sure that wouldn't be an issue.

Video: OTT@DAL: Faksa redirects Fedun's shot into the twine

Radek Faksa scored his second goal of the season in the first period and Joe Pavelski added a power-play marker in the second to help Dallas edge Ottawa, 2-1, at American Airlines Center.

The Stars (3-7-1) outshot the Senators 43-20, including a 17-9 advantage in the first and 11-3 in the second, for arguably their most complete game of the season.

"It was definitely one of the better starts we've had in this building, the best one of the year so far out of the few games we've been here," Pavelski said.

It might have been the perfect kick the Stars need as they try to climb out of an early hole.


[WATCH: All Stars vs. Senators highlights]


"It was a good 60 minutes," Montgomery said of his team's second straight win. "The only thing that we didn't love was a couple of turnovers in the second period. Besides that, we played pretty relentless hockey, defensively and offensively."

After coming close to finding the back of the net against Senators netminder Anders Nillson for much of the opening period, Faksa finally did with just over a minute remaining, redirecting a wrister from Taylor Fedun at the blueline. 

Pavelski doubled the Stars' lead in the middle frame with his second goal of the season, cleaning up a rebound from Jamie Benn in front of Nillson with the man-advantage.

The Stars went 1-for-4 on the power play for the night, but the special teams were noticeably more crisp throughout the game. 

Video: OTT@DAL: Pavelski buries rebound on the power play

"You know, it's just like anything, you get in a rhythm once you score goals," Montgomery said. "You feel better about yourself. … If they continue to build off that, we're going to continue to get better looks and better looks."

Vladislav Namestnikov spoiled Anton Khudobin's shutout bid with 1:12 left in the game, scoring his fourth goal with the extra attacker on.

With five of its next six games coming at home, Dallas hopes results like this start to become a trend.

"It's encouraging, but it's got to continue," Pavelski said. "It's a small sample size of what we've done right so far, so it's on us to continue with that and build off it."


Fast facts

Video: Montgomery on Stars' 'relentless' effort in win over Sens

  • Mattias Janmark registered a helper on Faksa's goal and has tallied five points through 11 games.

  • Tyler Seguin picked up his sixth point with an assist on Pavelski's power-play goal.

  • Khudobin earned his first win of the season and has now recorded a win in eight of his nine career games against the Senators (8-0-1).

  • Defenseman Esa Lindell led the Stars in ice time with 26:10. John Klingberg was second, logging 22:50. 


He said it

Video: Khudobin discusses his first win of season over Sens

"We're all good, thankfully. Obviously a scary night last night. Some minor damage to my house. … I was able to walk just one street up and some of the houses are demolished, roofs are missing and (there are) huge holes in people's houses. So I feel very thankful that everybody's OK. It came pretty quick, and to think that it was just one street away, it could have been a lot worse."

-- Stars goaltender Ben Bishop, whose home was among those damaged by severe weather on Sunday that spawned tornadoes in the Dallas area.


"That was great. That was a team effort. Everybody was dialed in everybody was in the same page. The forecheck, hitting the guys, back check -- everything. That was the game we were looking for to play."

-- Khudobin on win over Senators


Up next

Video: Pavelski on Stars' fast start in win over Senators

The Stars continue their homestand on Thursday with their first of three meetings against the Ducks at American Airlines Center. Dallas took two of three over Anaheim last season with both victories coming at home.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Jeff Odom covers the Stars for Follow him on Twitter @jeffodom.

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