Seguin has five points as Stars beat Canucks

DALLAS — Besides their pace and energy, one thing that has defined the Dallas Stars in this, their first season with Lindy Ruff as head coach, it has been their ability to respond after a disappointing loss.

That’s exactly what Dallas had on Tuesday night at Columbus in the second night of a back-to-back. The Stars were listless to start the game and trailed the Blue Jackets 3-0 after one period. To their credit, Dallas fought back and cut it to 3-2 before the home team added a fourth late in the third to ice the 4-2 victory.

So, when Ruff and his players alike talked about starting better on Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks at American Airlines Center, one had to think they’d make good on their promises.

And that’s exactly what they did, scoring early and often to lead 3-0 after one period. Standout center Tyler Seguin led the way with a hat trick and a five-point night but Jamie Benn, Alex Goligoski and Rich Peverley each chipped in two points in a resounding 6-1 win.

Of course, Seguin’s show of offensive prowess was the preferred topic in the Stars room postgame, but the young centerman chose to deflect that praise to the team.

"I wanted to improve personally every year. Obviously, it was an all-around good game. I want my team to be successful, and I want to get better every year, but (the) thing is us making the playoffs," Seguin said.

Naturally, Ruff couldn’t be happier at how Seguin, who is a key figure if Dallas is to end their playoff drought, which currently sits at five years, skated against Vancouver and at how he has performed throughout the season in leading the Stars attack.

"I really like the way he’s played.  He’s worked hard on improving his play and his defending part of the game.  He has a smile on his face," Ruff said. "Tonight the way he skated, he opens up a lot of ice for (Benn) and when he’s skating like that he’s pushing the other team back.  When you have a center that can move it up ice the way he can, it’s hard on the other team."

Dallas is currently on a three-game homestand against the Canucks, the Wild on Saturday, a night where franchise icon Mike Modano will see his trademark No. 9 raised to the AAC rafters, and will close out the set of games at home on Monday against Columbus in a big revenge game.

But Seguin and his teammates weren’t too worried about those three games. Their focus was clearly on the Canucks on Thursday and now they can move on and aim squarely at the Wild.

"It’s a huge two points for us," Seguin said. "We know we had two big games tonight and Saturday, and we didn’t want to look past tonight. So even though it was a higher score than expected, that’s a huge two points for us."

And setting aside Seguin’s five-point game for a minute, Goligoski, who now has a goal in four straight games, feels the other big story to come out of the win over Vancouver was the fact that the Stars rebounded nicely from that debacle in the Ohio state capital earlier in the week.

"We obviously didn’t like our start in Columbus, and everyone came in real focused and just wanted to get on a good start. These guys (Vancouver) had tough times scoring goals a little bit and a bit of a tough run, so you want to hop on those teams and we were lucky enough to bury a few early."