It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective and it added up to two points for the Dallas Stars Sunday afternoon. The Stars fell behind early, but scored four unanswered goals to defeat the St. Louis Blues, 4-1, at American Airlines Center.
“I thought there were some good things,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We got pucks to the net and we didn’t take penalties. We were the Boy Scouts of America today. It wasn’t a pretty hockey game to watch, but at the end of the day if you play enough of those the right way you’re going to get results. We got them tonight.”
The Stars limited the Blues, who have the league’s top power play, to just one chance with the man-advantage. They held the Blues to 26 shots on goals and goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 of those. And the Stars capitalized on St. Louis mistakes to turn the game around late in the first period.
“We didn’t start off the way we wanted to but we battled back and got some good turnovers,”
said center Derek Roy, who had a goal and two assists in the game. “We worked hard, threw pucks to the net, got some good bounces and made some good plays.”
The Stars fell behind 1-0 early in the game after Jamie Benn turned over the puck in the Dallas end and David Perron scored from close range at the 4:20 mark of the first period.
On the ensuing faceoff, Stars forward Antoine Roussel dropped the gloves with Blues forward Chris Stewart.
“Roussel’s fight definitely gave us a lift,” said Roy.
Roy and Roussel played a role in the Stars tying the game later in the first. After Roussel forced a turnover in the St. Louis zone, Roy got the puck to Roussel, who quickly set up Erik Cole and Cole scored from the slot to tie the game with 4:01 left in the first period. It was Cole’s first goal as a Dallas Star.
Just 2:21 later, Roy picked off a pass in the St. Louis zone and beat Blues goaltender Brian Elliot from the left circle to give the Stars a 2-1 lead.
“Yesterday was the first day that (Roy) said he felt 100% healthy,” said Gulutzan. “He was quick on pucks, he made great little plays, especially at the end. I thought he was really good today and that’s what we’re going to get moving forward. We’re relying on him and we know he can deliver.”
There was no scoring in the second period, but the Blues thought they had tied the game with 11:01 left in the game, but the goal was waved off because Adam Cracknell put the puck in the net with a distinct kicking motion.
About 90 seconds later the Stars extended their lead to 3-1 when Jordie Benn sent a cross-ice pass to Loui Eriksson, who scored from the right circle.
“It was a nice pass from Jordie and it was nice to see that go in, and definitely to get the win,” said Eriksson.
Eriksson and Roy set up a Jaromir Jagr power play goal with 1:00 remaining in the game to round out the scoring for the Stars.
“I thought the second and the third we played really well. I think we took over the game, especially in the third, I thought we really took over the game,” said Eriksson. “We didn’t give them many chances and we got some good chances against them. We got some goals, too, so that was really good for us.”
The victory gave the Stars points in four of their last five games (3-1-1) and put their record on the season at 11-9-2.
The Blues, who opened a five-game road trip on Sunday, fell to 11-8-2 on the season.
“We had too many average performances,” said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. “What can you say? Too many average performances doesn’t get it done on the road. I don’t know.”
*The Stars have scored three goals or more in 12 of their last 13 games.
*Stars center Derek Roy has 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) over the last three games.
*Stars left wing Antoine Roussel has points in three straight games (1 goal, 3 assists), and now has points in six of his last seven games (3 goals, 4 assists).
*Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon had a game-high 11 hits.
*Stars center Cody Eakin won 12 of 15 faceoffs.
*Attendance on Sunday was 16,633.