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Stars use Seguin's hat trick to beat Flyers

The SportsXchange

DALLAS -- Tyler Seguin showed no lingering effects from the concussion-like symptoms that kept him out of two games earlier in the week.

The Dallas Stars center ended a six-game scoring drought with a hat trick in a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday at American Airlines Center.

Seguin, who returned Thursday at Toronto, had missed games Sunday against Edmonton and Tuesday at Chicago. However, on Saturday he delivered a natural hat trick, the third of his career, with three consecutive goals in the middle period.

"It just comes back," Seguin said of his scoring touch. "The first practice in Toronto I felt off, and really in the first and second against the Leafs, I had trouble tracking the puck. That's because I was coming off a concussion and I hadn't skated really. The third and overtime it felt better last game, and tonight I didn't feel it."

Seguin had not scored since netting four in a 7-3 win at Calgary on Nov. 14. His first came 39 seconds into the second when he tied it with a snap into the right side of the net off the rush. Seguin's next goal came at 7:03 when he scored from the slot after a pass from defenseman Alex Goligoski.

Seguin's third came 40 seconds later when a wrister appeared to be deflected by Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn for Seguin's team-leading 15th. Seguin also assisted on Dallas' fourth goal from right winger Valeri Nichushkin.

Dallas also added a third goal within 1:02 in the second when Nichushkin scored his fourth with a wrister from the left circle at 18:05 to make it 4-1.

"I didn't think we were flat to start the second period," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "(Claude) Giroux hit the crossbar there. I thought everything was good, but you make mistakes with (Tyler) Seguin and (Jamie) Benn on the ice and you're going to be in trouble. That's what happened."

Besides Dallas coach Lindy Ruff, no one was happier to see the Stars net three in the second than backup goaltender Dan Ellis, who stopped 27 of 28 to earn his third win.

"I was happy. Who wouldn't be? That's always a relief," Ellis said. "Any time you can kind of relax by getting offensive support that helps."

The Stars also added a fifth, a shorthanded goal from center Cody Eakin, with 4:33 left in the game to make it 5-1.

Nichushkin finished with a goal and three assists and Goligoski chipped in two assists.

"Val's play continues to grow," Ruff said of Nichushkin. "He made a couple of nice plays. He has physically been dominating in some matchups."

Flyers goaltender Steve Mason, who stopped 22 of 26 shots in 40 minutes, did not return for the third period and was replaced by Ray Emery, who stopped seven of the eight shots he faced.

Philadelphia had led 1-0 after one thanks to a goal by defenseman Andrej Meszaros, his first of the season, with 1:09 remaining before intermission. But that goal was one of the few highlights for the visitors.

About the only negative for the Stars was losing center Vernon Fiddler to an upper-body injury late in the first.

"We'll re-evaluate him on Monday, but it looks like a little bit of time," Ruff said. "Nothing too serious, but he'll miss a little bit of time."

Dallas had a seven-minute power play 1:15 into the game after Philadelphia center Zac Rinaldo earned 17 minutes of penalties after initiating a confrontation with Dallas left winger Antoine Roussel. However, the Stars were unable to convert.

At 3:47 of the second, Flyers center Claude Giroux rang a wrister from the right faceoff circle off the crossbar.

"That goes bar and in instead of bar and out, it's a totally different ballgame," Flyers left winger Scott Hartnell said of Giroux's near-miss.

The Dallas power play was 0-for-5, making the Stars an NHL-worst 1-for-42 at home with the man advantage.

NOTES: Flyers D Hal Gill and D Erik Gustafsson were healthy scratches, and C Vincent Lecavalier missed a third straight game with back spasms. ... Dallas scratched C Dustin Jeffrey and D Aaron Rome. ... Flyers D Nicklas Grossmann made his first appearance in Dallas since being traded to Philadelphia on Feb. 6, 2012. Grossmann was a second-round pick in the 2004 draft by Dallas and played 333 games for the Stars before being dealt. ... Dallas' second defensive pairing featured two rookies in D Kevin Connauton, appearing in his fourth NHL game, and D Jamie Oleksiak, appearing in his 21st NHL game. ... The goal by Flyers D Andrej Meszaros late in the first period was his first since March 1, 2012 against the Islanders. ... The goal by Stars C Tyler Seguin early in the second was his first in six games.
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