Antoine Roussel drove the Dallas Stars to victory tonight in San Antonio with two goals and a primary assist to power a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers.
"The energy was really good today and we competed hard," said Roussel. "Our line was on the puck and all over them. We had our legs going pretty quick."
Coach Ruff agreed with the assessment: "We were a little sloppy in the first period; I didn't think we played well in our defensive zone. After that, it was a great compete game and we did a lot of great things."
In addition to the solid night from Roussel, Ruff heaped praise on his young defenseman for the win, saying they had a "strong night."
Chris Mueller also drew accolades from Ruff and got noticed by fans for some slick play in the offensive zone. He was rewarded with a goal late in the third to cap the scoring. Colton Sceviour also scored on the power play, his second of the preseason. Dan Ellis stopped 28 of 29 Florida shots in the win.
The lineup was dominated by players expected to play in both Texas and San Antonio, giving it a more AHL feel than NHL despite the jerseys and the coaches. Also, even thought the game was billed as a Panthers home game, the crowd was definitely tilted toward the Dallas/Texas side.
"It's fun to be back here and to see our fans coming out to the game," said Roussel. "Some fans can come out to the game because it's closer and that's good."