Stars end 2013 on winning note

Maybe it was just a one-night thing or then again, maybe it’s a hint of better times to come for the Dallas Stars’ power play. But seeing that unit go 2-for-5 in Tuesday’s 3-2 New Year’s Eve win over the Los Angeles Kings at American Airlines Center was definitely a huge positive for the club to carry forward into 2014.

Dallas got multiple power-play goals at the AAC for the first time this season and just the third time this season as both other times it happened were in Winnipeg.

Erik Cole scored the Stars’ first PP goal late in the first period, knocking home a rebound after a shot by Alex Chiasson. Tyler Seguin added a highlight-reel goal of his own, scoring from an impossible angle to the right of the LA goal to give Dallas their first lead at 2-1.
The Stars added a second of the night from Cole in the second and despite the Kings pulling one back early in the third by Anze Kopitar, Dallas held on for the win.

"We did some good things (on the power play)," Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said. "On the rebound, Chiasson threw a puck to the net that Tyler (Seguin) did a great job of putting it into the back. we missed on some really good opportunities, but it helped win us the game."

For the second time in three games, Cole led the way with a pair of goals. But Dallas also got stellar performances from Seguin, who had a goal and an assist, and from Chiasson, who had a pair of assists.

And once again, a popular subject in the postgame locker room was the continuing strong play of Cole, who finished December with eight goals, tying him with Seguin for most on the team.

"He uses his speed. He uses his body," Stars center Rich Peverley said. "He’s really good finding areas around the net. He’s obviously had a good nose for the net lately."

The Stars finished December with an 8-3-4 record and a nice bounce back win over the Kings after taking a tough overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday afternoon at the AAC.

Ruff was clearly pleased with the win, so pleased in fact that he gave his players New Year’s Day off as they had been scheduled to practice in Frisco on Wednesday morning. But the veteran NHL head coach couldn’t resist issuing a few New Year’s resolutions after beating the Kings in the final regular-season meeting between these former division rivals of the season.

"The only one really is just stay grounded," Ruff said. "We have a lot of work ahead of us. (We must) try to stay consistent. Our hard work ethic in the first 40 games has been good. If we can consistently work like that, then we’ll have success."

Dallas returns to the ice on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens and will conclude its current five-game homestand Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings.