Jagr, Benn lift Stars to 4-3 SO win over Coyotes
DALLAS (AP) — A combination of youthful enthusiasm and veteran composure under pressure turned out to be a winning recipe for the Dallas Stars.
Propelled by the first NHL goals from rookies Antoine Roussel and Brenden Dillon, the Stars finished off the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 with shootout goals from veterans Jaromir Jagr and Jamie Benn on Friday night.
After netting four goals in the opener against Phoenix, the Stars had scored only nine times in the next six games before breaking out.
"I think there's still room for improvement offensively, as far as putting more shots on net and creating more zone time," said Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan, whose club has been outshot in every game this season. "We're still looking for some chemistry early in the season, and I think that will help our offense."
Roussel scored in his NHL debut, Dillon had his first career goal and assist, and Michael Ryder also scored as Dallas (3-4-1) snapped a four-game losing streak (0-3-1).
"I thought the win itself was best for our psyche, and it gives us something to try to build off of," Gulutzan said. "For sure, this game gets mental. The win helps for our belief, but as our belief increases, our game has got to get tidied up now/
"That's how you get on a roll."
Phoenix trailed 2-0 and 3-2 before getting even in the third period. Radim Vrbata had the only goal for the Coyotes (2-4-2) in the shootout.
Martin Hanzal scored twice in the second period after missing two games because of a lower-body injury, Vrbata added a goal and an assist, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson had two assists for Phoenix.
"I thought our team hung around the game, competed really hard and gave ourselves a chance to win, but in the end gave a point up," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "We'll take that point, put it in the bank."
With the Coyotes ahead 1-0 in the shootout and the Stars down to their final shooter, Benn beat goalie Mike Smith with a wrist shot.
After Dallas' Kari Lehtonen denied Ekman-Larsson, Jagr's wrist shot hit the bottom of Smith's glove, rolled over the goalie's pad, and trickled over the line to give the Stars the win.
"I think it's pretty exciting for the fans," Gulutzan said. "The fans, seeing Number 68, a guy of that caliber, I think they got their money's worth."
Hanzal's second goal of the night — and fifth of the season — tied it at 3 with 1:34 remaining in the second period.
"He was a good player for us," Tippett said. "He was a guy that was questionable whether he'd be in the lineup or not. He gave us a heck of a game."
Smith returned after sitting out four games because of a lower-body injury and looked solid in making 21 saves. He made a key shoulder stop on Stephane Robidas' slap shot at 2:48 of overtime.
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