Nichushkin has 2 goals, Stars rout Maple Leafs 7-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2014 at 11:29 pm •  Published: January 23, 2014
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DALLAS (AP) — Valeri Nichushkin was in the right place at the right time — twice — on Thursday night.

Nichushkin scored two goals and Jamie Benn notched his 100th career goal and added three assists to lead the Dallas Stars to a 7-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Nichushkin, a rookie, had his first two-goal game to bring his season total to 11 goals in 48 games. He deflected Benn's shot into the net for a 3-1 lead in the second period against Bernier, and put in a rebound in the third against Reimer.

"It's funny how that works," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "He got one off his skate when he was in the right spot, and he got a rebound when he was right in front. He has had some nice opportunities for him that haven't gone in."

Cody Eakin added a goal and an assist, and Alex Goligowski, Sergei Gonchar and Tyler Seguin each had two assists for the Stars, who broke open a 2-1 lead with four second-period goals and ended Toronto's six-game winning streak.

Dallas won its second game in a row since ending a 1-8-1 slide. On Tuesday, the Stars shut out the Minnesota Wild, who had won seven of their nine previous games.

"Something we wanted to do in this game was build off last game," Benn said. "It's two pretty good games in a row, pretty good in all three zones and we eliminated our turnovers."

Kari Lehtonen made 24 saves against the Maple Leafs to record his 200th career victory.

Nikolai Kulemin had the lone goal for Toronto.

After Nichushkin's first goal, Toronto coach Randy Carlyle replaced Jonathan Bernier with James Reimer, who allowed the final four goals, including one on a power play by Shawn Horcoff and one short-handed by Rich Peverley.

"I think (the goalies) fit in with the rest of our team," Carlyle said. "I'm not going to throw those guys in any more than the rest of the group. We just didn't have anything going."

Added Reimer: "It's tough coming in cold, but that's my job as a professional. Tonight, I was the backup goalie and I had to be ready for anything. I'm pretty disappointed in myself that I couldn't make some saves early to kind of keep it close."

Nichushkin had been moved off the line with Benn and Seguin, and had complained of being fatigued. He had been a healthy scratch for the first time this season for games Saturday and Monday.

"His energy is back up," Ruff said.



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