Stars forward Alex Chiasson has looked like a different player since the Olympic break, and Monday night he was finally rewarded.
Chiasson snapped a 12-game goal scoring drought when he scored on the power play with 9:35 remaining to propel the Stars to a 3-2 victory over Buffalo at American Airlines Center.
Stationed in front of the net, Chiasson had a Jamie Benn shot deflect in off his leg.
“I wish it went off my stick, but just knowing that I am in the right places, and it hit me in the shin guard there,” said Chiasson.
The Stars rookie had struggled prior to the break, in part because of a bout with strep throat that left him 15 pounds lighter. But the break allowed him to rest up, put on some weight and he’s been playing some of his best hockey over the past three games.
“It seemed like the break happened at the right moment,” said Chiasson. “Just to get away mentally. You start to think so much about everything, and it doesn’t make you play better. I’ve put some weight back on. I feel rested and hopefully I can keep playing like this and help the team.”
Chiasson has had 12 shots over the last three games, including a game-high seven Monday night. He’s had some great scoring chances the last three games.
“He’s looked refreshed, energized since he has come back,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “He just needed one to go in. He was in the right spot there and he got a piece of Benner’s shot.”
*Monday’s win was the 600th in Stars coach Lindy Ruff’s NHL career.
*Ruff became the 12th coach to hit 600 wins in the NHL.
*Ruff is one of three active NHL head coaches with 600 wins. Chicago’s Joel Quenneville and St. Louis’ Ken Hitchcock are the others.
*The Stars got two goals from the defense Monday with Jordie Benn and Alex Goligoski finding the back of the net. It was the first time the Stars had at least two defensemen score in a game since March 25th, 2013 when Trevor Daley, Goligoski, and Phillip Larsen scored in a 7-4 loss to Minnesota.
*The Stars were 1-6 on the power play and are 2-32 on the PP over the last eight games.
*The Stars were 1-1 on the penalty kill and are 19-20 on the PK over the last seven games.
*The Stars outshot the Sabres 39-23. Alex Chiasson led the Stars with seven shots on goal.
*The Stars won 31 of 59 (53 percent) of faceoffs. Jamie Benn won 8 of 13. Rich Peverley won 5 of 7. Vernon Fiddler won 8 of 16. Cody Eakin won 6 of 15.
*The Stars are 10-11-2 vs. the Eastern Conference.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin/Ray Whitney
Erik Cole – Cody Eakin – Rich Peverley/Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel – Vernon Fiddler – Ryan Garbutt
Ray Whitney /Rich Peverley– Shawn Horcoff – Alex Chiasson
Alex Goligoski – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn-Brenden Dillon
Kevin Connauton – Sergei Gonchar
Scratched: Aaron Rome
Injured: Stephane Robidas (leg)
This story was not subject to the 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.