DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Alex Chiasson scored the team’s first goal of the season in Thursday’s loss to the Panthers. On Saturday, he scored the one that mattered most.
Chiasson scored the tiebreaking goal at 12:07 of the second period, and the Dallas Stars defeated the Washington Capitals 2-1 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves for Dallas, which stopped a Capitals flurry on a power play as the game ended.
Alex Ovechkin scored in the first period for Washington. Erik Cole tied it at 8:01 of the first.
Midway through the second, the Stars skated in 3-on-2 against goalie Braden Holtby. Cody Eakin took a shot, and the rebound went out to Chiasson as he skated down the slot. His shot beat Holtby for his second goal in two games this season.
The 23-year-old Chiasson has eight goals in nine career games since debuting with the Stars in April.
“He finds the right place,” said head coach Lindy Ruff. “He needs a little of that magic to rub off on a couple other guys.”
The Montreal-native, who has collected his eight goals on just 19 shots, says he doesn’t try to project his success and doesn’t really concern himself with his personal statistics.
“I just play my game and that’s my main focus,” said Chiasson after the game. “As long as this team wins, that’s all I care about.”
After playing just their second game of the season, the Stars now have a five-game break before traveling to Winnipeg for a game on Friday. The team will then play three road games in a five-day span before returning to Dallas.
“On the heels of a win it makes for a real good atmosphere. It’s a real good place to be,” said Ruff.
Ovechkin scored on a power play 4:26 into the game when he took a pass from Mike Green in the left circle and one-timed the puck past Lehtonen.
It was the fourth goal in three games this season for Ovechkin, who entered tied with teammate Mikhail Grabovski for the NHL scoring lead.
The Capitals came in with a league-best 56 percent success rate (5 for 9) on power plays. They were 1 for 3 against the Stars.
About 3½ minutes later, Jamie Benn kept the puck in the Capitals end by shooting it around the boards behind the net. Tyler Seguin backhanded the puck behind him into the slot, where Cole beat Holtby.
The assist was Seguin’s first for Dallas, which acquired him from the Boston Bruins in an offseason trade.
After a slow start, the Stars finished the first period with a 9-8 advantage in shots.
The Capitals had some near misses in the second period. Despite putting 13 shots on goal to Dallas’ five, Washington gave up the period’s only goal.
Washington appeared to have a goal with 12 minutes left in the period, when the puck popped up behind Lehtonen. But officials ruled that Nicklas Backstrom pushed the goalie, knocking the puck into the net. The play was ruled no goal on review because of goaltender interference.
A slap shot by Ovechkin squeezed past Lehtonen, but Brenden Dillon tipped the puck away from the net. The goalie appeared to be screened on John Erskine’s shot from the left point that hit the right post.
NOTES: Dallas center Rich Peverley, acquired with Seguin in July, made his Stars debut. Peverley missed the preseason after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. Peverley missed a chance for a power-play goal in the third period. He poked a rebound behind Holtby but off the left post. … Capitals wing Joel Ward found himself unable to open the door of a men’s room stall at the team hotel Saturday morning. He tweeted, “Stuck in the washroom … someone help?” According to the Washington Post, teammates Karl Alzner and John Carlson found a ladder and helped Ward climb over the top of the door.
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