The Dallas Stars took their show on the road for the first time this season and a superb performance by Tyler Seguin fueled them to a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre Friday night. Seguin had a hand in all four Dallas goals, scoring two and assisting on two others as the Stars got their three game road trip off to a stellar start.
“It’s huge. It’s our first road game and our first real road trip,” said Seguin. “The biggest focus going in was to have a good start and we walked away with the victory. The boys did a good job tonight.”
Seguin led the way, scoring one goal and assisting on two others as the Stars tallied three times in a 7:03 span of the first period to take a 3-0 lead in the game. He scored in the second period to extend the Stars’ lead to 4-0.
“He really skated well, shot the puck well obviously,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “That line was in on seven or eight great opportunities and did a nice job on the power play. I think when Tyler is skating he makes a lot of things happen.”
Seguin played on a newly configured top line for the Stars Friday night. Rich Peverley joined Seguin and Jamie Benn on the top line during this week’s practice sessions. Those three players were on the ice for all four Dallas goals. Benn scored one goal and assisted on two others. Peverley had one assist.
“Through training camp and preseason [Benn and I] are getting to know each other. We bring two different games to the table,” Seguin said. “I thought the addition of Peverley tonight worked out as well.”
“It was our first game with Rich Peverley and I thought we jelled pretty well together,” said Benn. “We wanted to get some shots early and we were fortunate to get a couple of goals. We just kept rolling from there.”
Alex Chiasson scored a goal and chipped in an assist as well for the Stars, who won their second straight game and improved to 2-1-0 on the season.
The Stars did lose goaltender Kari Lehtonen to a lower body injury in the game. Lehtonen, who stopped all 23 shots he faced before leaving the game, is listed as day-to-day. Dan Ellis took over in net and stopped 22 of 23 shots in his first appearance of the season for the Stars.
The Stars got into penalty trouble early when Valeri Nichushkin was sent to the box for four minutes for high sticking Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. Replays showed that it was Stars forward Ryan Garbutt’s stick that caught Byfuglien, who headed to the locker room for stitches.
The Stars killed off 2:56 of the Winnipeg power play and then got some help from Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom, who took a hooking penalty to even things up.
When the Stars went on the power play a little more than a minute later, they cashed in to take a 1-0 lead. Seguin came down the right side and sent a backhand pass to Chiasson, who drove the net and beat Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec with a backhand shot at the 9:32 mark. It was the third goal in three games this season for Chiasson.
Seguin made it a 2-0 game at the 12:09 mark, taking a pass from Rich Peverley off the rush and beating Pavelec with a blast from just inside the blue line.
“It was kind of rolling a little bit and I put everything I had into it,” said Seguin.
The Stars extended the lead to 3-0 when Jamie Benn knocked home the rebound of a Brenden Dillon shot at the 16:35 mark. Seguin picked up a secondary assist on that goal, giving him his third point of the night.
The Stars extended their lead to 4-0 in the second with another power play goal. Seguin struck again, scoring this time off a blast from the left circle 5:10 into the period. The Stars power play, which went 0-5 in the first two games, was 2-5 Friday night.
“I thought our power play was pretty good in the preseason and it was nice for us to get it going tonight,” Seguin said.
The Stars lost Lehtonen late in the second. The Stars goaltender left the game at the TV timeout at 14:43 of the second with the lower body injury and Ellis took over, stopping three shots in the final 5:17 of the second and then turning away 19 of 20 shots in the third.
The Jets did score on the power play in the third when Blake Wheeler tallied off the rebound of a Byfuglien shot at the 5:35 mark to make it a 4-1 game. The Jets stepped up the pressure and had another late power play, but Ellis and the Stars shut the door to secure their second victory of the season.
“We want to have a good road record and we wanted to win this game to get off to a good road trip here,” Benn said. “I am pretty happy with our effort tonight.”
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