Roussel, Benn score in third period to lift Stars over Capitals
Jamie Benn’s first goal in six games turned out to be the winner for the Dallas Stars.
Antoine Roussel and Benn scored 16 seconds apart in the third period, and Dallas edged the Washington Capitals 5-4 on Saturday night after losing a 3-0 lead.
Benn, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza, the Stars’ three leading scorers, all scored to show signs that they’re coming out of slumps. Seguin’s goal was his first in seven games, and Spezza has only two in 15 games.
"We need them on the board on a consistent basis," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "Tyler’s missed some unbelievable chances. But at the same time, that goal by Benn, because they’ve been few and far between, is important to get him going again."
Roussel broke a 3-3 tie 3:14 into the third by tapping in the puck from left of the net. Benn added his goal at 3:30.
Seguin, Spezza and Erik Cole each had a goal and an assist, and Jyrki Jokipakka added two assists for Dallas.
Cole said that settling on a line with Spezza and Ales Hemsky has helped.
"I think that’s helped game in, game out to talk about things," Cole said. "We’re not going to work consistently (by) moving up and down the lineup and having a bunch of different parts moving in and out."
Benn, Seguin and Colton Sceviour have been working as Dallas’ first line.
Alex Ovechkin’s breakaway goal 21 seconds into the third period helped Washington rally from a three-goal deficit.
"We made some big mistakes at just critical times," Ruff said. "Even to start the period shooting the puck into shin pads and giving Ovechkin a breakaway. To that point, we had done a pretty good job limiting his opportunities."
Barely three minutes after Ovechkin’s goal, Roussel and Benn gave the Stars the goals they needed to win.
"You work all the way (back)," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "It’s like you’re building something and then all of a sudden, it gets knocked down right away. Within not even a minute, we gave them a two-goal lead again."
The Stars kept Washington from scoring a tying goal after Nicklas Backstrom beat Kari Lehtonen at 16:34 of the third period.
Eric Fehr and Andre Burakovsky also scored for Washington, which suffered a second straight loss for the first time since Dec. 2.
Lehtonen made 28 saves. Justin Peters had 21 in his first start since Nov. 29 for Washington.
"(Lehtonen) definitely saved the game in the third period for them," Ovechkin said. "He’s a top-level goalie and when they needed it, he made a save."
Seguin, Cole and Spezza scored for the 3-0 lead at 4:13 of the second period.
Washington rallied to come within a goal at 3-2 later in the second. Fehr scored at 5:30, putting a pass from Joel Ward between Lehtonen’s legs, and Burakovsky sent a drive from the top of the slot past Dallas’ goalie at 16:06.
NOTES: Before Saturday, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby had started 21 games in a row and appeared in 27 straight. … Backstrom had his 399th career assist on Ovechkin’s 25th goal of the season. … Seguin’s goal was his league-leading 27th, but his first in seven games. … Benn scored his first goal in six games. … Stars C Cody Eakin played in his 200th NHL game. … Dallas placed RW Brett Ritchie (undisclosed injury) on injured reserve, and brought up Jokipakka and LW Curtis McKenzie from Texas of the AHL. … Rookie Jokipakka has just five assists, but has had two in a game twice. … Trevor Daley (undisclosed) did not play, and Ruff said he didn’t expect the defenseman to be out through the All-Star break. The Capitals are 1-12-5 when their opponents score first. … The Stars have won their last six against Washington.