The Dallas Stars nailed down their second road win of the season Friday night, and special teams play and goaltending were the difference.
The power play scored twice, the penalty kill was perfect, and Kari Lehtonen stopped 29 of 30 shots as the Stars defeated the Calgary Flames, 2-1, at Scotiabank Saddledome.
"Lehts was the story for us, especially early," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "And our power play is effective."
Lehtonen, who was making his second start of the season -- and his first in just under three weeks -- was sharp throughout the game and made a key save late in the second on a Mikael Backlund breakaway that kept the Stars within one goal and a minute later the Stars drew even.
"I haven't played much, and now you get a chance and you want to play well and help the team," Lehtonen said. "That was nice."
Esa Lindell's power-play goal late in the second period tied the game and Alexander Radulov's power-play tally with 7:10 remaining snapped a 1-1 tie and held up as the game-winner for the Stars who improved to 6-5-0 on the season and 2-4-0 on the road.
Video: DAL@CGY: Radulov buries PPG to put the Stars ahead
"I've said before that our record doesn't indicate how well we've played. We deserve a lot better record based on the way we played and this was kind of a reward, for me, for doing that," Hitchcock said. "Calgary played well, we played well. It was like a playoff game. And we finally got rewarded for hanging in there and staying with it."
The Stars, who couldn't hold the lead in the third period in Edmonton Thursday night, were able to close the door on the Flames Friday.
"It's real important for our team confidence-wise," said Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis. "We haven't been able to secure wins late in games, and it's a great confidence booster for our team. I think everybody raised their play today individually. The determination level was higher, and that gave us a good chance to win."
Johnny Gaudreau scored the lone goal, and Mike Smith stopped 22 shots for the Flames who fell to 5-6-0 on the season and 1-4-0 at home. The Flames have scored just eight goals in their past five games.
"It was a pretty even game. Both teams had their moments," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "The bottom line is we are getting our looks, and we've got to put them in."
There was no scoring in the first period, but the Flames had some great chances late. T.J. Brodie shot wide at an open net on an odd-man rush with 2:35 left, and Lehtonen came up with big stops on a tipped shot by Backlund and another shot off the stick of Matthew Tkachuk.
Video: DAL@CGY: Lindell one-times PPG from the blue line
The Stars had some good pressure early in the second, but Smith stopped a good chance by Devin Shore and then turned away a wide-open Martin Hanzal with Dallas on the power play.
The Flames broke the scoreless tie midway through the second when Gaudreau streaked down the right wing on an odd-man rush and roofed a shot over Lehtonen to give Calgary a 1-0 lead at the 10:18 mark.
The Stars went on their second power play of the game late in the period, and Lehtonen came up huge, denying Backlund on a shorthanded breakaway to keep the Stars within one goal. And the Stars tied it 63 seconds later on that power play when Jason Spezza set up Lindell who scored from just inside the blue line to make it a 1-1 game at 16:54 of the second.
Both teams got a look on the power play in the third and the Stars killed off Calgary's chance and then cashed in on their own to take a 2-1. Shore sent a pass from the left point to Radulov in the right circle and Radulov fired the puck past Smith at the 12:50 mark.
Radulov and Tyler Seguin were among the players blocking shots in the final minute as the Stars held off one final push by the Flames.
"The win is huge," said Radulov. "The games like today that's the character of our team. Hopefully, we are going to build on it and keep going."
Video: DAL@CGY: Lehtonen stones Backlund with blocker save
The Stars rank first in the NHL on the power play (32.1 percent) and are second on the penalty kill (92.1 percent).
The Stars are 5-for-8 on the power play in the past two games and have scored on the power play in eight of 11 games this season.
The Stars are 21-for-21 on the penalty kill over the past seven games.
The Flames outshot the Stars 30-24 and had a 59-50 advantage in shot attempts.
John Klingberg led the Stars with seven shot attempts.
The Stars won 29 of 67 faceoffs (43 percent). Tyler Seguin won 12 of 22 (55 percent). Radek Faksa won 5 of 10 (50 percent). Martin Hanzal won 4 of 12 (33 percent). Jason Spezza won 4 of 9 (44 percent).
Greg Pateryn led the Stars with 21:32 of ice time.
The Stars continue their road trip Monday when they take on the Vancouver Canucks who are off to a solid 6-3-1 start. The Canucks ran their winning streak to four games with a 6-2 victory over Washington on Thursday.
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Devin Shore - Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza
Antoine Roussel - Martin Hanzal - Brett Ritchie
Gemel Smith - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
Marc Methot - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn
Jamie Oleksiak - Esa Lindell
Scratched: Julius Honka, Remi Elie
Injured: Stephen Johns (concussion symptoms)
This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.