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Seguin leads Stars past Jets

The SportsXchange

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Tyler Seguin was sitting tall in the saddle and had his gun blazing for the Dallas Stars on Friday night.

Seguin scored two goals and added two assists as the Stars beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 at the sold-out MTS Centre.

The Stars showed no signs of rust after five days off, jumping out to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes and cruising to victory in their first road game of the 2013-14 season.

Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists for the Stars, while rookie forward Alex Chaisson added his third goal of the season and had an assist.

Donning a shiny, white cowboy hat following the game, Seguin said it felt good to spark the Stars to their second win of the young season.

"One hundred percent, it feels good," he said. "It was definitely nice. The first goal was kind of a knuckler. It was rolling a bit. The second one -- our power play has been rolling and it was just nice to get things going."

Blake Wheeler was the lone goal scorer for the Jets, tapping in a rebound in the third period. Winnipeg trailed 3-0 and 4-0 at the period breaks.

Dallas improved to 2-1 and heads to Minnesota to play the Wild on Saturday night.

The Jets, meanwhile, began a six-game homestand with a lackluster effort in the first period on the way to their third straight loss after beginning the season with two victories. Winnipeg hosts the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night.

Seguin said the Stars had plenty of energy after a long layoff.

"(It was a) great start for sure," he said. "I think we were really excited to play. I feel like we've had two or three training camps thus far. We came out hard. We knew they played (Thursday) night and I thought it was a full 60 (minute) effort."

"It's our first road game and our first real road trip. Our focus was to have a good start and see if we could walk away with a victory. I think the boys did a good job tonight."

Dallas coach Lindy Ruff admitted he wasn't sure how his club would come out of the gate, after not playing since last Saturday.

"I always think the big layoffs are a bit of an unknown," he said. "I'd like to stand here and tell you I knew we'd be ready, but you never know. You try to do the right things (in practice), you try to put in some of the compete drills in to simulate some game stuff. You try to have a couple of really hard practices.

"We've been sitting around not doing a lot for a long time. We haven't had a lot to talk about. We haven't had a lot to fix. Now, it gives us a chance to work on our game. We'll play on a regular basis now, because we had been the team that had played the least."

Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves before leaving the game with just five minutes left in the second period. He slid across the crease to stop Evander Kane on a short-handed breakaway, did a few stretches at the next stoppage of play and then skated to the bench.

Lehtonen went to the Stars' dressing room and was replaced by backup Dan Ellis. The duo combined to stop 43 shots.

Afterward, Ruff said Lehtonen will be monitored "day-to-day."

The first period was all Dallas, or, more specifically, all Seguin. The young center scored his first goal of the season and set up goals by Chaisson and Benn.

Seguin set up Chaisson on the power play at 9:33 and then ripped a slap shot over the glove of Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec just under three minutes later.

Benn slipped in his first goal of the season on a rebound off a point blast from Stephane Robidas with about three minutes in the first period. Seguin had the second assist.

Surprisingly, Jets coach Claude Noel wasn't nearly as displeased as he was Thursday night following a 2-1 lost to the Wild in Minnesota.

"I thought we made some mistakes in the first period that ended up in our net," he said. "You can't make those mistakes and expect our goaltending is going to save us like in the previous games. But the mistakes we made were correctable mistakes where we should have been better, we should have been smarter.

"But to me we played with a lot more energy. There's a lot more things we can build upon in this game and move forward... we just played with a lot more vim and vigor."

Seguin, 21, carried the hot hand into the second period, gathering a loose puck at the faceoff dot and hammering a slap shot past Pavelec at 5:10 for his second power-play goal of the game.

Wheeler scored his first goal of the season at 5:35 of the third period for the Jets.

Pavelec has been the Jets' most reliable player to start the season but looked shaky at times against the Stars, allowing Seguin to blow a couple of shots past him with no traffic in front and giving up some juicy rebounds.

Pavelec finished with 27 saves.

NOTES: The Stars hadn't played since Saturday night when they defeated the Washington Capitals 2-1, just the second game of the year for Dallas. ... RW Alex Chaisson scored in each of the Stars' first three games. He scored six goals in seven games last season before being derailed by a shoulder injury. ... Dallas C Cody Eakin and C Ryan Garbutt both hail from Winnipeg. ... The Jets entered Friday's game with a 22.2 percent efficiency rating on the power play through four games, tied for 11th in the league. The club finished the 2012-13 dead last in the league at 15.4 percent. ... Jets C Bryan Little and D Toby Enstrom were off to four-game point streaks to start the season. The franchise record for season-opening point streak belongs to Donald Audette, who had at least a point through seven games for the Atlanta Thrashers to begin the 2000-01 regular season. ... Winnipeg C Olli Jokinen was a point shy of 700 for his NHL career heading into the game. ... Pavelec has started all five of Winnipeg's games this season.
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