DALLAS (AP) — Vernon Fiddler and the Dallas Stars are sure making their playoff chase interesting.
Fiddler extended a shootout when he recovered to score after almost falling down, and Tyler Seguin had the game-winner and the Stars beat Nashville 3-2 on Tuesday night to keep their hold on the Western Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.
"I just really thought that was part of his plan to distract the goaltender," coach Lindy Ruff joked. "But it was great to see him finish off the play."
The first two shooters for each team came up empty in the shootout before Nashville's Roman Josi shot and it appeared that Kari Lehtonen had made the stop. But the puck trickled under the pads and slid just past the line.
Needing to score to keep the game going, Fiddler slipped after taking off, but got upright in time to make a shot in the lower left side of the net.
"That was something else," said Fiddler, who had an issue with a skate. "They tried to fix it, our trainer did. He told me not to turn that way, but I didn't listen to him. Maybe I should have listened to him, but I was just thankful that it caught my other edge."
After Matt Cullen failed to score for Nashville, Seguin — who had been 1 of 6 in shootout chances this season — ended the game with his shot and eliminated the Predators from postseason contention.
"Going fourth tells you that the lack of success put him in that slot," Ruff said. "He's been great all year 5-on-5, overtime ... I think there's players that can seize the moment, and he seized that moment."
Dallas has 89 points, two ahead of Phoenix after the Coyotes got a point for an overtime loss at Columbus. Both teams have three games left.
"It's huge. Obviously, you're scoreboard watching," Fiddler said. "We saw Phoenix picked up a point so we wanted to do anything we could to pick up any kind of points. It's a big two points."
The Stars play twice more at home, including the makeup Wednesday night against Columbus of the March 10 game when Stars forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench in the first period because of an irregular heartbeat. Dallas' regular-season finale is Sunday at Phoenix.
Jamie Benn scored his 34th goal for the Stars, who are trying to avoid another late-season collapse.