The Dallas Stars bounced back from an ugly loss on Thursday night with an overall solid 4-1 win over the visiting St. Louis Blues Sunday afternoon.
Coach Glen Gulutzan shuffled the lines a little and it paid off tremendously. Loui Eriksson was bumped up to the first line alongside Jamie Benn and Jaromir Jagr and newcomer Erik Cole was moved up to the right wing spot on the second line with Antoine Roussel and Derek Roy.
Eriksson ended up with a goal and an assist and Roy scored a goal and added two assists to lead the Stars. Jagr and Cole scored the other two goals for the Stars. For once, there weren’t many penalties. The Stars killed their only penalty of the night and scored on one of their three power play opportunities.
Kari Lehtonen bounced back from his subpar performance Thursday night by stopping 25 of 26 shots including several big ones on defensive zone turnovers. David Perron scored St. Louis’ only goal when a Jamie Benn turnover in the defensive zone eventually ended up on Perron’s stick. He made a move toward the end boards on his backhand that stretched Lehtonen out and pulled him out of position then Perron took the puck back to the front and tucked the puck into a gaping net.
St. Louis scored a second goal, but it was waved off when video replay determined Adam Cracknell kicked the puck into the net. It was a close call as Cracknell was in motion to stop and got tangled up with Jamie Oleksiak.
Dallas’ first goal was a direct result of pressure in the offensive zone. The Blues won a faceoff at the blue line and Cole’s pressure on the defense resulted in a deflected puck which Roussel attacked. Roy skated in, took the puck and passed it to Roussel who was headed to the net. Roussel then dropped the puck back in front for Cole for put it behind goalie Brian Elliott for his first goal with the Stars.
Dallas’ second goal started when Eriksson stole the puck from T.J. Oshie, dumped it into the Blues’ zone and pressured the defense. Oshie recollected the puck and attempted a pass out of the zone up the middle of the ice. Roy skated in and intercepted the puck at the blue line and wristed it on net. The puck squeezed through underneath his armpit and trickled into the net behind a bewildered Elliott.
The Stars headed into the second period with the lead and maintained the same score heading into the third.
Eriksson scored the third goal on a beautiful cross-ice pass from Jordie Benn. Benn patiently skated with the puck passed a sprawling Blues player and sent the puck through the slot to Eriksson in the right wing circle. Eriksson didn’t get all the puck on his shot, but he got enough to put it between the legs of Elliott.
Jagr closed out the game with a power play goal with under a minute left in the third period. Eriksson won the race to a puck along the right wing boards. He sent it behind the net where Roy immediately made a behind-the-back centering pass for Jagr who tapped it into the net.
The Stars have a few days off before they head to Los Angeles to face the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings Thursday night.