The Dallas Stars defeated the Washington Capitals 4-2 in dominating fashion on Friday night. Despite playing on the second night of a back-to-back set, the Stars outworked, outskated, and outscored the Capitals.
Dallas jumped all over Washington at the start of the first period, generating the game's first six shots on goal. Less than four minutes into the game, the Stars took a 1-0 lead on a power play goal by Shawn Horcoff. Horcoff fired a shot from the slot that deflected off of a Capitals penalty killer past Braden Holtby.
The Capitals tied the game late in the first period. On a 3-on-2, Curtis Glencross received a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov, fired a backhand on net, skated around Jyrki Jokipakka and buried the rebound past Kari Lehtonen.
Not too long after that, however, the Stars retook the lead. Colton Sceviour skated around everybody in the Capitals zone, taking the puck from behind the net all the way to the right faceoff circle, and sent a seeing-eye shot through heavy traffic that beat Holtby. To quote Razor, who was quoting Eminem, it was a "trailer park girl goal: 'round the outside."
Patrik Nemeth recorded his first career NHL point with an assist on Sceviour's goal.
The Stars took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
In the second period, the Stars scored two power play goals to increase their lead to 4-1, giving them three power play goals on the night. Tyler Seguin put the Stars up 3-1 with a bomb from the left circle that beat Holtby short side. It was Seguin's 32nd goal of the season.
The Stars went up 4-1 during a hectic sequence, and chased Holtby from the game. Eric Fehr led the Capitals into the Stars' zone in transition for a shorthanded opportunity, but he shot it high and wide. Ales Hemsky then collected the puck from the defensive zone and led a 2-on-1 into the Caps' end of the rink with Vernon Fiddler. Hemsky held onto the puck until Tim Gleason slid completely out of position, then sent Fiddler the puck, and Fiddler tapped it into a wide open net. Justin Peters then entered the game to replace Holtby.
The Stars led 4-1 after two, outshooting the Capitals 25-15 through 40.
To the delight of the Stars and Stars fans, the third period was largely uneventful. There was a little scrum near the beginning of the period that resulted from Tom Wilson taking a run at Patrik Nemeth.
The Capitals scored a garbage time goal with 1:26 left when Evgeny Kuznetsov beat Lehtonen with a knucklepuck from a severe angle to make the score a tad more respectable from the Caps' perspective. When all was said and done, the Stars left Verizon Center 4-2 victors.
This was one of the most complete games the Stars have played all season, and they did so while playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Stars finished their East Coast road trip 4-1-0, and are now five points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Kings, however, have two games in hand on the Stars.
Their next game is against the St. Louis Blues at the American Airlines Center. The puck will drop at 5:00 PM, and right after that, the Alumni Game will take place.