GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — In a close game on the road, the Dallas Stars turned to a pair of playmakers on their top line.
Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn came through.
Seguin scored two third-period goals and the Stars held off Arizona 5-4 on Thursday night, sending the winless Coyotes to their seventh straight defeat to begin the season.
Seguin put in the rebound of Benn’s shot at 8:20 of the third, less than 90 seconds after the Coyotes had pulled even. He added his fifth of the season with 2:54 left to make it 5-3.
Clayton Keller scored his second goal of the game with 22 seconds left to trim the margin to one. Derek Stepan also scored twice for Arizona (0-6-1), the only NHL team without a victory.
Benn had a goal and two assists, both in the final 20 minutes, as Dallas beat the Coyotes for the second time in three days.
“We knew it was going to be greasy. The early road games to start a season in this league always are,” Seguin said. “Almost like playoff hockey until everyone in the league settles in. No one’s settled in yet. Sloppy game at times, but found a way to win.”
Stepan scored his first two goals for Arizona. The veteran center arrived in an offseason trade with the New York Rangers and scored in each of the first two periods.
The Stars defeated the Coyotes 3-1 on Tuesday night in Dallas, with goalie Ben Bishop stopping 27 of 28 shots. Bishop wasn’t as effective on Thursday, though he made a few quality saves and stopped 27 shots in all.
“You just have to be happy with your big guys stepping up in an important moment like that,” Bishop said. “Some big shots by some great players. …. We don’t want to be giving up those chances when we get the lead in the third period.”
Adin Hill, playing his second straight game in net for Arizona, made 25 saves. Hill is the third goalie the Coyotes have started this season.
The Coyotes got off to a promising start when Stepan redirected a shot from Oliver Ekman-Larsson into the net at 5:50 of the first period.
Dallas answered quickly when Benn was left alone in front on a power play, and after a deke deposited the puck past Hill to tie the score at the 6:23 mark. The goal was Benn’s third of the season.
“The Seguin line was a killer,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “They are elite players. Our top line produced for us.”
Then came a play that encapsulated the Coyotes’ start to this season. Tyler Pitlick centered a pass that Hill stopped. The rebound came out to Arizona defenseman Luke Schenn, whose attempt to clear turned into an accidental own-goal.
Radek Faksa was credited with the goal because he was nearest to Schenn. It was Faksa’s second goal in two games.
Keller, who had an assist on Stepan’s first goal, hit the post with a shot in the first period. Keller blocked a shot on defense, then beat Bishop on a breakaway at 6:41 of the third to make it 3-all.
Stepan was in the right spot early in the second period when Max Domi’s shot went between his legs. The rebound off Bishop’s save came back to Stepan, who scored from close range to tie it at 2.
“We’ve just got to find a way to outscore the other team one time, and just kind of relieve the pressure of not getting a win,” Stepan said.
Bishop kept it tied when he stopped shots from Domi and Stepan in the final minute of the second.
NOTES: Keller’s five goals lead NHL rookies. … Arizona C Brad Richardson missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. … No. 1 goalie Antti Raanta missed his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury. … Dallas D Julius Honka was scratched for the third time in seven games this season, with D Jamie Oleksiak on the ice for the first time in three games. … Stars Hall of Famer Mike Modano attended the game.
Stars: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
Coyotes: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday in the first of three meetings this season.
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