There was no understating the importance of an otherwise unmemorable 3-2 victory over the Oilers at the American Airlines Center on Thursday for Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff. The win was their first in five games and just their second since the calendar turned from 2015 to 2016.
“It was really important,” Ruff said, per the Dallas Morning News. “Coming off a disappointing trip for us, I thought we came out and played a good first period. We had some opportunities to put the game away and didn't and at the end they were still hanging around. It could have been dangerous.”
Forward Jason Spezza got the scoring started on Thursday just a little over a minute into the first period. Jamie Benn followed that up in the second period with his 27th goal of the year.
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Edmonton got back in it with a power play goal from Teddy Purcell, but the Stars answered just 15 seconds later with a goal off the stick of Jyrki Jokipakka. Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov scored late in the third to draw within 3-2 and add some intrigue late, but the Stars were able to hang on.
The win wasn’t a thing of beauty really, but it’s something to build on.
"One hundred percent,” said Benn. “I think we didn't come out with the results on the road trip, but we were definitely going the right direction. We saw a little bit more of that tonight.”