Overtime hasn't been kind to the Dallas Stars this season, but it went just fine Sunday evening in New Jersey. Tyler Seguin scored 20 seconds into the extra period as the Stars rallied to defeat the New Jersey Devils, 2-1, to push their points streak to four games.
Stars defenseman John Klingberg made a slick backhand pass from the left point to Seguin, who moved down the slot and scored on a snap shot to give the Stars just their fourth win in 15 games that have gone beyond regulation this season.
"It was a heck of a play by Klingberg to get it off the wall," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "We had a quick two-on-one in front of the net, and Tyler's got one of the best shots. You give him an opportunity from that area of the ice and most times he is going to score."
The Stars, who were down 1-0 after two periods, tied the game with 6:36 left in regulation on a power-play goal by Ales Hemsky, who put home a rebound after his first shot was blocked by Devils captain Andy Greene.
Hemsky's goal came just 48 seconds after Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped New Jersey's Blake Pietila on a shorthanded breakaway.
"If Kari doesn't make that save the game is probably over," said Ruff. "That was a big save at a big time of the game."
Lehtonen made 20 saves in Sunday's game and has now stopped 94 of 98 shots during the Stars' four-game points streak in which they have posted a 3-0-1 record and allowed just four goals. Sunday's win kept the Stars (31-33-11) from being mathematically eliminated from the playoff race.
"That's something we haven't' thought about in a little while," Lehtonen said. "We're just trying to focus on playing one game at a time. I think the past couple weeks we've played better in our own end, and today it was pretty good there."
"We're playing for each other," Seguin said. "We're coming in every day and putting in the work. We're playing with some pride. We had a stint there where everyone knows it just wasn't good enough. It wasn't how we wanted to represent our organization. As of late, we've done a better job."
Keith Kincaid stopped 30 of 32 shots for the Devils, who lost their third straight game and fell to 2-12-3 over their past seventeen. The Devils have scored one goal or fewer in 23 of 75 games this season.
"We have to do a better job in the offensive zone, create more and get that second goal," Greene said. "We have to work harder. We just can't hope we get that second one. We have to make sure we will it into the net."
The Stars came out with a strong push early, but a defensive turnover opened the door for the Devils to take a 1-0 lead. Blake Coleman picked off a Klingberg pass, drove the net and roofed a shot over Lehtonen at the 11:02 mark. It was the first NHL goal for the Plano native.
"I'm pretty familiar with a lot of guys in that [Stars] locker room," Coleman said. "So guys like Jamie Benn coming up and saying, 'Congrats' is pretty special. I will be able to remember that and share with friends and family back home."
That Coleman goal kept New Jersey in the lead until Hemsky tied it in the third period to start the Dallas rally, and Seguin finished it in overtime.
*The Stars are 4-11 in games that have gone beyond regulation this season. They are 4-9 in three-on-three overtime and 0-2 in shootouts.
*Tyler Seguin's goal was his 25th of the season, tying Jamie Benn for the team lead.
*Ales Hemsky has scored four goals in the past six games.
*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen has stopped 94 of 98 shots in his past four games for a save percentage of .959.
*The Stars outshot the Devils 32-21 and had a 58-33 advantage in shot attempts.
*Seguin led the Stars with six shots on goal and seven shot attempts.
*The Stars were 2-4 on the power play.
*The Stars were not shorthanded in a game for the second time this season.
*The only penalty the Stars took was a fighting major by Curtis McKenzie, who dropped the gloves with New Jersey's Damon Severson.
*The Stars won 29 of 57 faceoffs (51 percent).
*John Klingberg led the Stars with 22:03 of ice time. Seguin was next with 21:07.
The Stars continue the road trip with a game Tuesday at Montreal. It will be the first against the Canadiens since the trade that sent defenseman Jordie Benn to the Canadiens in the deal that brought defenseman Greg Pateryn to Dallas.
Jamie Benn - Cody Eakin - Ales Hemsky
Remi Elie - Tyler Seguin - Brett Ritchie
Jason Dickinson - Radek Faksa - Devin Shore
Curtis McKenzie - Adam Cracknell - Jason Spezza
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Stephen Johns
Jamie Oleksiak - Greg Pateryn
Scratched: Patrik Nemeth
Injured: Patrick Sharp (hip), Jiri Hudler (lower body), Antoine Roussel (hand), Mattias Janmark (knee)
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.