WINNIPEG – Tyler Seguin was relieved he and Dallas Stars teammate Jamie Benn finally had something good in common on Saturday afternoon.
The pair ended pointless droughts when they each scored two goals in a 6-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets that halted a two-game losing skid for the Stars (15-11-5).
“I feel like I got my monkey off my back with him getting a couple,” said Seguin, who also had a pair of assists.
“It’s nice to see. Sometimes things just aren’t going in, but he made some great shots tonight and stepped out at the right time.”
Seguin and Benn had been held pointless in their two previous games—losses to Nashville and Chicago—but Benn hadn’t scored a goal since Nov. 14.
Benn pretended to throw a monkey off his back after he finally scored his eighth goal of the season at 13:46 of the second period to give the Stars a 3-2 lead.
Sergei Gonchar was a big help, tallying a career-high four assists. Rookie Valeri Nichushkin scored a goal. Centre Colton Sceviour netted his first NHL goal in his first game this season for the Stars, who only have four wins in their last 10 games.
Kari Lehtonen, playing his 200th game for the Stars and 404th career NHL game, stopped 34 of the 38 shots he faced.
Blake Wheeler had a pair of goals, Matt Halischuk also scored and Olli Jokinen added a goal and assist for Winnipeg (14-15-5), which is now winless in its last six home games.
Their last victory at MTS Centre was Nov. 15 in a 3-2 shootout against Philadelphia.
Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec was replaced by Al Montoya to start the third period. Pavelec stopped 19 of the 24 shots he faced. Montoya made seven saves on eight shots.
Going into the game, Winnipeg, Dallas and Nashville were tied with 33 points at the bottom of the Central Division. However, Winnipeg has played three more games than Dallas and one more than the Predators, who host San Jose Saturday night.
Winnipeg is now 3-11-3 against division opponents, while Dallas’s mark is 3-6-3.
The Stars led 2-1 after the first period and 5-3 after the second on late power-play goals by Benn and Seguin one minute and three seconds apart. The goals were scored while Jets winger Anthony Peluso was off for a boarding major and a game misconduct.
Peluso had hit defenceman Alex Goligoski into the boards. Goligoski left the ice with a towel against his right eye, but returned to the game.
Dallas coach Lindy Ruff was far from impressed with the hit.
“I thought the Peluso hit was a joke,” Ruff said.
“For a guy that plays that amount of time and runs a guy like Goligoski from behind. What does he play, three, four minutes a game? And he’s going to run Goligoski from behind? Go run one of our bigger guys.
“It was gutsy (of Goligoski) to come back. I mean, (he) cut him open. These are the hits we want to get rid of. I mean, let’s get serious.”
Jets coach Claude Noel didn’t have much to say about Peluso’s hit.
“Anytime you take a five-minute major, it’s never a good situation,” Noel said. “It put us in a tough situation, especially (when) they scored two goals in there.”
He also pointed to two bad lines changes his team made that led to Seguin and Nichushkin being able to go in alone and score on Pavelec. Basically, his team didn’t play “intelligent,” Noel said.
Wheeler’s goals tied the game 2-2 and 3-3, but his frustration spilled out after the loss.
“What I say doesn’t matter. It’s what you do out on the ice,” Wheeler said. “You can blow smoke as much as you want in the media. We’ve been blowing smoke for three years, everyone, myself.
“Everyone that’s stood in front of the microphone the last three years, they’ve said the same (stuff). What do you want me to say? That’s about it. I don’t know what else to say.”
But he did elaborate when asked where the game turned.
“In the first period, we were terrible and that’s inexcusable,” Wheeler said.
And even though they fought back and were down 5-3 heading into the third, the Jets gave up two-on-ones and breakaways, he noted.
“It’s embarrassing,” Wheeler said. “It’s just no respect for each other. (Montoya) goes in there, he’s cold, and that’s what we do?
“It’s like, you just can’t believe it.”
Jokinen finished the scoring at 18:19 when he got a stick on a rebound in traffic in front of the net.
Notes: Wheeler now has six goals in his past six games…Winnipeg forward Evander Kane missed his sixth straight game with an undisclosed lower-body injury, although he practised with the team for the first time on Friday…Winnipeg heads out for a two-game road trip against Columbus on Monday and Buffalo on Tuesday…Dallas ends its three-game road trip against Colorado on Monday.