DALLAS - Kari Lehtonen saved the best of his 25 saves for last, robbing Mikhail Grabovski at the final buzzer to preserve the Dallas Stars' 2-1 victory against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night and give coach Lindy Ruff his first win with his new team.
Dallas center Tyler Seguin was called for delay of game when he flipped the puck over the glass with 35.6 seconds remaining in regulation. The Stars negated the first 30 seconds before Washington managed a final rush, but Lehtonen's glove nabbed Grabovski's wide-open 10-footer from the slot to give Dallas the win.
Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal 4:26 after the opening faceoff for the Capitals, who've dropped two of their three games. Eric Cole tied it at 8:01, and rookie Alex Chiasson put Dallas ahead to stay at 12:07 of the second period with his second goal in as many games. Chiasson fired home a rebound after Braden Holtby stopped a shot by former Capital Cody Eakin.
Holtby, who was pulled after allowing three first-period goals against the Calgary Flameson Thursday, stopped 19 of 21 shots.
Washington's power play, which came into the game 5-for-9, turned Dallas' first penalty into the game's opening goal. Mike Green slid the puck to Ovechkin in the left circle for a one-time rocket that Lehtonen had no chance on. Washington got the power play at 3:25 when Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas tripped Brooks Laich near the goal.
Cole tied the game when he snapped a shot from the slot past Holtby. Seguin, acquired in an off-season trade with the Boston Bruins, picked up his first assist with Dallas on the goal, sliding a backhand pass to Cole from behind the net.
Washington appeared to have regained the lead 8:01 into the second period when Nicklas Backstrom deflected a shot into the net. However, after the officials reviewed the play, Backstrom was ruled to have interfered with Lehtonen before he got a piece of John Carlson's shot, and the goal was waved off.
After Dallas killed off a penalty to Shawn Horcoff, Chiasson put the Stars ahead to stay. Lehtonen got some help from his crossbar early in the third period when Laich's wrister on a shorthanded breakaway beat the goaltender but not the iron.
Washington is off until Thursday when it hosts the Carolina Hurricanes at Verizon Center. Dallas doesn't play until Friday when it visits the Winnipeg Jets to start a three-game road trip.