The Dallas Stars made it three-for-three on their current road trip and four straight wins overall, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
Antti Niemi turned in a sparkling 34-save effort and Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin both registered one goal and one assist for the Stars, who improved to 5-1-0 on the season.
“We are playing good hockey right now,” Seguin said. “The biggest thing is we are finding ways to win.”
The Stars got off to a strong start Tuesday and built a 2-0 lead when Seguin scored off the rush with 52 seconds left in the first period and Benn tallied on a two-on-one rush just 11 seconds into the second period. Philadelphia made a strong push in the third, and cut the lead to 2-1 on a goal by Sean Couturier, but the Stars were able to hold off the Flyers the rest of the way.
“We’re a confident group right now. We know when we play the right way and do the right things we are going to be successful,” Benn said. “Some nights aren’t going to be as pretty as others, but it’s a matter of getting the two points at the end.”
Benn (six goals, four assists) pushed his points streak to six games. Seguin (four goals, six assists) pushed his points streak to five games.
“We are just trying to push each other out there. Just trying to be the best players and trying to lead,” said Benn. “When we play the right way we are going to get our own chances.”
Niemi, who was making his third start of the season and first in a week-and-a-half, came up with several big saves for the Stars. He was particularly sharp with the Stars shorthanded, coming up with strong saves on Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Michael Raffl power-play opportunities. Eleven of Niemi’s 34 saves came on power-play shots, helping the Stars go 4-4 on the penalty kill.
“I thought he played great, especially against their power play,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “That power play has been together for so long and moved it around pretty good. He made a couple of second-opportunity saves that kept us where we were at. That is something you need out of your goaltender.”
The Flyers had a two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 2-2-1 on the season. The Stars made it four straight wins and their 10 points are tied for second most in the league less than two weeks into the season.
“I feel good [about the start to the season]. We’ll put that behind us and move on. I think we can play better. We are still a work in progress.” Ruff said. “I think we are trying to sort out playing with the lead. Tonight, we were a little bit on the back side of it. That team put a lot of pressure on us. We had some opportunities to stretch it out, but we didn’t. We are finding ways to win. Both goaltenders are winning for us; our special teams have been solid. Just keep working.”
*Stars goalie Antti Niemi is 2-1-0 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .930 save percentage.
*Stars captain Jamie Benn pushed his points streak to six games (six goals, four assists).
*Stars center Tyler Seguin ran his points streak to five games (four goals, six assists).
*The Stars were 0-2 on the power play and 4-4 on the penalty kill.
*The Stars have not allowed a power-play goal in the past four games and are 8-8 on the penalty kill during that stretch.
*The Flyers outshot the Stars 35-32.
*Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, Colton Sceviour and Vernon Fiddler co-led the Stars with four shots each.
*The Stars won 30 of 63 faceoffs (48 percent).
*Jason Spezza won 5 of 9 draws (55 percent). Cody Eakin won 8 of 16 (50 percent). Tyler Seguin won 8 of 17 (47 percent). Radek Faksa won 4 of 8 (50 percent). Vernon Fiddler won 3 of 8 (38 percent).
*Jason Demers led the Stars with 23:09 of ice time.
The Stars wrap up their four-game road trip at Pittsburgh Thursday.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Patrick Sharp
Vernon Fiddler – Jason Spezza – Valeri Nichushkin
Mattias Janmark – Cody Eakin – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Radek Faksa – Colton Sceviour
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya – Jason Demers
Jyrki Jokipakka – Jordie Benn
Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak, Patrik Nemeth
Injured: Travis Moen (upper body), Curtis McKenzie (lower body), Patrick Eaves (lower body)
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.