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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

For One Night Only: The Seguin Trade Doesn't Look So Bad as Bruins beat Stars 3-1 in Dallas

The Bruins and Stars only meet twice this season but Boston (25-16-6) has to be happy with Round 1's result: a much-needed 3-1 road win at American Airlines Arena tonight in Dallas (21-18-7). The B's have now won six of their last seven games and this was a vintage victory for them in terms of dictating their style (timely scoring that's spread out, good defense, strong special teams and great goaltending).

This was one of Tuukka Rask's best games of the season as he put up 36 saves and was helped by the fact that Dallas hit the post at least three times (including once by Seguin who had a game-high 9 shots on goal). Ironically, the one goal he gave up was complete trash. Vernon Fiddler-playing in his 700th NHL game-beat him with a weak backhander that took a slight deflection at 6:46 in the second period. The Jasons (Spezza and Demers) assisted on the only Stars goal.

Former Star Loui Eriksson tied it at 14:17 after one of the prettier sequences of the season for the Bruins. Chris Kelly passed to Carl Soderberg who spun around and hit Eriksson who was wide open coming down the slot. That play actually started behind Boston's net after forcing a turnover. Eriksson beat Kari Lehtonen (24 saves) for his 11th goal of the season. Boston built off that momentum as Gregory Campbell knocked in an ugly but effective goal at 18:27. His fifth goal of the season was assisted by Craig Cunningham and Dougie Hamilton.

Boston took way too many penalties, but luckily their penalty kill was superb (holding Dallas to 0 for 6). Hamilton got the insurance goal that the Bruins needed at 7:41 in the third period. His career-high eighth goal of the season was assisted by another former Star-Reilly Smith.

Tomorrow night (10, NESN) at Colorado (19-18-10) is Boston's final game before the All-Star break. The Avalanche are another flawed Western Conference team that they should beat. It'll be another mini-reunion too with Jarome Iginla and Mark Stuart. Since he's not going to the All-Star Game (only Patrice Bergeron will represent the B's), I think that Rask will get another start. Boston also should benefit from a rejuvenated Brad Marchand who was suspended for the past two games.

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