The Dallas Stars’ offseason acquisitions paid dividends Saturday. Jaromir Jagr had two goals and two assists, and Ray Whitney scored a goal and added an assist as the Dallas Stars defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-3, at American Airlines Center Saturday night. Loui Eriksson also scored for the Stars, tallying with 6:55 left in the third period to snap a 3-3 tie.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 37 of 40 shots for the Stars.
Jagr productive in Dallas debut
Jaromir Jagr had an impressive debut for the Stars, registering four points (two goals, two assists). Jagr scored the Stars’ first goal of the season, scoring on a partial breakaway at 18:36 of the first period to give Dallas a 1-0 lead. It was the 666th goal of Jagr’s NHL career. He scored career goal number 667 late in the second, scoring from the left circle on the power play to tie the game at 2-2. Jagr added an assist early in the third, setting a Ray Whitney power play goal at the 31 second mark as the Stars took a 3-2 lead. Jagr then help give the Stars a 4-3 lead with 6:55 left in the game. Jagr picked off the rebound of a Derek Roy shot and backhanded it to Loui Eriksson, who scored from the slot.
With Jagr’s four points, Whitney’s goal and assist and Roy picking up an assist, the Stars’ key three offseason additions totaled seven points (three goals, four assists) on the night.
Special teams watch: Power play scores twice
The Stars power play, which ranked last in the league, was a big focus coming into this season, and it came up big Saturday night. The Stars were 2-4 on the power play in the game. Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney, two offseason acquisitions expected to help the PP, scored the goals. It was the first time the Stars’ power play had scored twice in a game since tallying twice against Boston on Dec. 31, 2011.
The penalty kill was 3-5 on the night.
The Stars wanted to take fewer penalties this season, but they got into penalty trouble in the second period. The Stars gave the Coyotes five power plays in a ten minute span and the Phoenix scored on the third and fourth ones to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead.
Game one sellout
The Stars got off to a good start on the attendance front. Saturday’s announced attendance was 18, 532, which is a sellout.
The Stars play Sunday evening at the Minnesota the Wild, which added forward Zach Parise and Ryan Suter during the offseason.
Injured: Rome (groin)