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 Sabres on Monday night in Buffalo.
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 that sent Thomas Vanek to the Islanders. Steve Ott also scored for Buffalo (2-11-1), which matched its worst start through 14 games.
Benn’s goal 10:55 into the second period put the Stars up, 4-1, and stood up as the winner.
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 beat goalie Kari Lehtonen.
A cheer went up when Ruff first stepped on the bench before the opening faceoff. Ruff then received a loud and lengthy standing ovation during the first break, when the Sabres showed highlights of Ruff as a player and coach.
Canadiens 2, Rangers 0 — Peter Budaj made 27 saves for his 11th career NHL shutout, and Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk provided all the offense Montreal needed to spoil New York’s long-awaited home opener.
The Rangers returned to Madison Square Garden after opening the season on a nine-game trip, while their home rink got the finishing touches on a $1 billion face lift.
Canucks 3, Capitals 2 — Ryan Kessler and Daniel Sedin scored 2:09 apart early in the third period, rallying host Vancouver past Washington.
Blackhawks 5, Wild 1 — Patrick Sharp got his second goal of the season and Nick Leddy jump-started Chicago’s stagnant special teams with a power-play goal in a win over host Minnesota.
Penguins 3, Hurricanes 1 — Rookie Jayson Megna had his first career goal and assist as visiting Pittsburgh snapped a three-game losing streak.