The Dallas Stars came out of the NHL’s holiday break and continued to roll on the road. The Stars made it four straight wins away from home, defeating the St. Louis Blues, 4-3, at Scottrade Center Saturday night. It was the fifth win in the last six games overall for the Stars.
“Anytime you get to play a team like St. Louis, it’s a measuring stick for us,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley. “We see where we are at, and we are trying to get back in this. We dug ourselves a hole; we are trying to get out of it and beat teams like St. Louis. It’s obviously a great feeling.”
The Stars, who improved to 6-2-0 in their last eight games, are now 15-14-5 on the season. The win was their first against a Central Division foe this season (1-7-3).
“We need wins. We need points. That’s what we are looking at. It doesn’t matter who it is against,” Daley said. “It was good to come in here and get a win.”
Travis Moen, Ryan Garbutt, Daley, and Jason Demers scored for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 30 of 33 shots.
The two teams were tied 2-2 after one period, but the Stars built a two-goal lead in the second period on power play goals by Daley and Demers.
[The power play] was big for us,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “It has to get better. It has to convert. Real nice goal by Dales and a heck of a play by Erik Cole [to set up Demers].”
The Blues cut the lead to one early in the third, but the Stars were able to clamp it down and close out the game.
“The best teams in the league, you look at their records in one-goal games, they know how to lock them down,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said. “I know we struggled at the start of the year, but we’re finding a way to play with that one-goal lead and finding a way to win games.”
The Blues saw their winless streak hit four games (0-3-1). They’ve surrendered 18 goals in the four losses.
“I think the mistakes have been the same as they’ve been for four games. Other than the game in San Jose, they’ve been the same mistakes,” said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. “Can’t defend in our own zone. We are going to have to play with the same ferocity in our own zone that we do in the offensive zone.”
The Stars capitalized on two St. Louis turnovers in the first period, but the Blues bounced back to tie after both. After St. Louis goaltender Jake Allen lost the puck while trying to play it behind the net, Moen scored to give the Stars a 1-0 lead 2:08 into the game. But just 27 seconds later Alex Pietrangelo scored off the rebound of a Paul Stastny shot to make it a 1-1 game.
Garbutt picked off a Petteri Lindbohm pass in the St. Louis zone and scored from close range to put the Stars up 2-1 at the 14:46 mark of the first. Less than two minutes later the Blues scored on the power play. Vladimir Tarasenko scored on a rebound off the end boards to make it a 2-2 game at the 16:10 mark.
The Stars took a 4-2 lead in the second period by scoring on two of four power play chances. Daley scored on the second one, slicing through the St. Louis defense and tallying off a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle at the 7:41 mark.
After the Blues were called for too many men on the ice late in the period, the Stars called a timeout and then struck again. Cole sent a pass from the left circle to Demers, who scored from close range to make it a 4-2 game with 47 seconds left in the second.
St. Louis captain David Backes scored at the 5:40 mark of the third to cut the Dallas lead to 4-3, but that was as close as the Blues would get. The Stars penalty kill came up with a stop right after the Backes goal. Lehtonen made a save on a close-range bid by T.J. Oshie and then a stop on a blast by Pietrangelo from the slot later in the period to help preserve the lead.
“I thought we played a pretty solid road game,” Cole said. “I liked our compete. We did a lot of good things. There’s a lot we can take from a game like this and translate it back to our play at home.”
*The Stars improved to 9-7-0 on the road.
*The Blues had an eight-game home points streak snapped and suffered their first regulation loss at home since Nov. 8.
*The Stars were 2-4 on the power play and 3-4 on the penalty kill.
*Trevor Daley scored his fifth power play goal of the season and his eighth overall.
*The Stars scored multiple power play goals in a game for the third time this season.
*Travis Moen’s goal was his first of the season and his first since March 18 of last season.
*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen picked up his second assist of the season on Daley’s power play goal.
*The Blues outshot the Stars 33-24.
*Tyler Seguin led the Stars with five shots on goal.
*The Stars won 33 of 75 faceoffs (44 percent).
*Seguin won 12 of 20 (60 percent). Cody Eakin won 6 of 11 (55 percent). Vernon Fiddler won 6 of 15 (40 percent). Jason Spezza won 3 of 17 (18 percent).
*Stars captain Jamie Benn and Blues captain David Backes picked up fighting majors with 1.3 seconds left in the game.
*The Stars recalled defenseman Cameron Gaunce from the AHL Saturday morning. He was a healthy scratch against the Blues.
*Stars associate athletic trainer Craig Lowry marked his 1,500th game in pro hockey Saturday night. Lowry is in his 12th season with the Stars.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Colton Sceviour
Erik Cole – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Travis Moen
Jyrki Jokipakka – Trevor Daley
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Jordie Benn – Jason Demers
Scratched: Travis Morin, Cameron Gaunce
Injured: Patrick Eaves (ankle), Valeri Nichushkin (hip), Patrik Nemeth (arm)
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.