Stars too much for Predators 7-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 29, 2014 at 12:02 am •  Published: March 29, 2014

DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Stars' top goal scorers got major help on Friday night.

Seven different Stars scored in a 7-3 victory over the Nashville Predators.

Tyler Seguin or Jamie Benn was not among them. Each player had an assist.

Colton Sceviour, Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt each had a goal and an assist.

Alex Goligoski had three assists, tying his career high.

Going into the game, Seguin had 75 points and Benn 69. Dallas' third-highest scorer was Goligoski, with 33.

Vernon Fiddler, whose first-period goal was his fifth this season, said: "It's nice to get some depth scoring. At the end of the day, we've got to continue to do that. The big guns need some help with that, and it takes a little bit of pressure off of them."

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen allowed three goals on 28 shots.

Pekka Rinne had 22 saves.

After Nashville pulled within 5-3 in the third period on Eric Nystrom's goal, Valeri Nichushkin and Cody Eakin scored 9 seconds apart for a 7-3 edge.

Nichushkin's unassisted goal went off Predators defenseman Shea Weber's stick.

"We tipped two in our own net," Weber said. "They got one off the skate, and then they scored off the rush. They got a little bit of everything, and it just wasn't good enough for us."

That's why Nashville coach Barry Trotz didn't consider pulling Rinne.

"Not really, even when they got six and seven. Six and seven were deflected. There was nothing you could do about it."

Stars coach Lindy Ruff, who preaches putting pucks on the net, was pleased about the four goals that deflected off teammates' sticks or bodies.

"We got some good breaks. We had a couple put in by their defensemen. We got enough pucks going to the net, and got rewarded for it."

Goals by Garbutt and Fiddler gave the Stars a 2-0 lead after one period.

Sceviour, Alex Chiasson and Daley scored in the second period that ended with a 5-2 advantage for Dallas.

The Predators' Patric Hornqvist and Michael Del Zotto also scored in the second.

The victory improved Dallas' playoff hopes. The Stars have 81 points — three behind Phoenix, which has the Western Conference's last playoff position.

The Stars have nine games remaining, including a game Saturday at St. Louis. Phoenix has eight to play.

The game started well for the Stars against Nashville, which was coming off a 6-1 win over Buffalo on Thursday.

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