BUFFALO — Tyler Seguin capped a three-goal, first-period outburst, and the Dallas Stars hung on to deliver coach Lindy Ruff a 4-3 win in his homecoming against the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.
Jamie Benn, Alex Goligoski and Vernon Fiddler also scored in a game the Stars nearly squandered a 4-1 lead against the NHL's worst team. Eric Cole added two assists in Ruff's first game against his former team after his 16-year tenure in Buffalo ended with him being fired on Feb. 20.
Matt Moulson nearly spoiled Ruff's return by scoring two goals in his Sabres debut, a day after being acquired in a trade the sent Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders. Steve Ott also scored for Buffalo (2-11-1), which matched its worst start through 14 games.
The Stars ended a four-game road losing skid and won for the first time in eight regular-season trips to Buffalo. Not including playoffs, Dallas had gone 0-5-2 at Buffalo since a 4-2 win on Oct. 7, 1997, which happened to be Ruff's first home game as Sabres coach.
Benn's goal 10:55 into the second period put the Stars up 4-1 and stood up as the game-winner. Seguin started the play by checking Ville Leino off the puck at the left circle. After a give-and-go with Cole, Seguin fed a pass through the crease to Benn who beat goalie Ryan Miller at the right post.
Ott scored a power-play goal 1:59 later, and Moulson cut the Stars lead to 4-3 with 2:43 left in the second period, when he collected a loose puck in front and lifted a shot over goalie Kari Lehtonen.
Lehtonen preserved the win by stopping the final 10 shots he faced, and 22 overall to improve to 4-0-1 in his past five starts. Lehtonen had to be sharp twice in the early moments of the third period, when he got his right pad out both times to turn away defenseman Christian Ehrhoff's slapshots from the right circle.