Eric Staal scores pair, helps Hurricanes beat Stars to snap skid
Every time the Dallas Stars thought they had a chance to get back into the game Tuesday night, there was Eric Staal.
"He was good early and he was good often," Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "So I really liked his game. That's what your captain does."
Staal assisted on the last of Carolina's four second-period goals and then scored two himself in the third for a 6-4 victory over Dallas.
Carolina overcame a 2-0 deficit with its second-period outburst. The last of the four goals chased Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 12 of 16 shots in nearly 36 minutes on the ice.
The Hurricanes franchise had not won in regulation at Dallas since 1996, when the team was still the Hartford Whalers.
"I actually thought of that before the game," Staal said. "I know I've been here a lot and we haven't had the right result. It was nice to get that behind us."
Carolina snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 2-6-2 on the road. The Hurricanes scored only one goal in their previous three games.
The Stars lost their seventh consecutive home game (0-5-2) and fell to 1-5-4 in Dallas this season.
"We're not idiots," center Jason Spezza said. "We know that we've dug ourselves a hole here. But I also know that there's a lot of race track left and we can be better."
Jeff Skinner, Patrick Dwyer, Victor Rask and Jiri Tlusty scored in the second for the Hurricanes.
Staal's goals against backup Anders Lindback were needed because Cody Eakin scored short-handed and Tyler Seguin got his second of the game for Dallas in the third period against Cam Ward, who made 21 saves.
"When they get the momentum, they were attacking pretty good, but we stuck with it and got the job done," Staal said.
Staal's first goal came 9 seconds into the third period, when he beat Vernon Fiddler and skated in on Lindback.
"We had a breakdown, and our center let their center go. That's a tough goal right off the bat," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.
And the whole team felt it.
"It sucks the life out of the bench a little bit, but I thought we did a good job of at least sticking with it," Spezza said.
After Spezza missed an open net at the other end, Staal took a pass from Riley Nash and beat Lindback again at 16:03.
Seguin, who leads the NHL with 14 goals, tipped in two shots by John Klingberg. Jamie Benn also had a goal, his first in 12 games.
The Stars had only six shots in the first period, but two went in the net.
Benn scored at 1:48. Jamie Oleksiak shot wide, and Ward turned the puck away behind the net. Fiddler retrieved it and passed in front to Benn.
The teams were skating 4-on-4 when Spezza won a faceoff in the Hurricanes' end. The puck went to Klingberg at the top of the right circle, and his slap shot went in off Seguin.
Skinner scored at 2:34 of the second, and the Hurricanes tied it 2-all at the 7-minute mark. Dwyer slipped a backhand between Lehtonen and the post.
Just 90 seconds later, Rask scored a power-play goal on John-Michael Liles' second assist. Tlusty's goal at 15:54 chased Lehtonen.
NOTES: Benn has nine points (six goals, three assists) in eight career games against the Hurricanes. ... The Carolina franchise had been 0-10-1 in Dallas since its last win on Feb. 11, 1996. ... Lehtonen also allowed four goals in the third period of Dallas' previous game at Chicago on Sunday.