— The Dallas Stars looked ready to take a big step forward Saturday night when they held off the Nashville Predators 4-3.
But the Stars have to go deeper this season if they want to make a run for a second straight Stanley Cup title.
The Predators (29-25-7) were 0-4-1 since Jan. 8 and have dropped seven straight.
“We know that we’re going to play hard and be aggressive, but we’ve got to be smart with the puck,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.
“There’s a lot of guys that are playing with a lot more confidence than we are.
They’re playing with confidence, too.”
The Stars outshot Nashville 17-7 in the opening period and outshot the Predators 10-3 in the second period.
They led 3-0 after six minutes when Patrik Nemeth scored his first goal.
Nemeth’s goal gave Nashville a 1-0 lead at 6:03 of the second.
Tyler Seguin, a seventh-round pick in 2014, scored the next two goals for Dallas.
He made 20 saves in the win.
The Stars took a 2-1 lead when Jason Spezza scored the first of his two goals.
Dallas finished with eight shots and took a 4-1 advantage into the third period.
But Nashville’s goaltender, Michal Neuvirth, made 17 saves and stopped 19 shots.
The Preds got two power-play goals in the third to open the scoring.
The first came after Cody Eakin got his first point of the season with a shot from the right circle.
The second was when Mattias Ekholm scored on a power play that the Predators blocked.
The goal gave Dallas a 2.5-1 edge in shots on goal.
It was a 1.9-1 margin in shots against.
The Blues had two power plays, one on goal and one off.
Both were blocked by Nashville goalie Anders Lindback.
The score tied 2-2 at the 7:02 mark of the third.
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored with 1:03 left in the period for Nashville.
Jason Demers scored his second goal of the game with 11:33 left in regulation.
Stars forward Jordie Benn made a nice pass to Seguintsev and put the puck past Neuvirk.
The puck was cleared from the Predators blue line and went off the stick of Kuznetshov.
The play made it 1-1, but Lindy had to come back to stop it.
The Rangers scored their second goal on the power play at 11:05 when Matt Nieto blocked a shot by Alexei Emelin.
Emelin, who made a nifty one-timer past Lindy in the first period, was penalized for a cross-check on Emelin’s shoulder.
After the goal, Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley scored his fourth of the year with 15:15 left in overtime.
The Kings led 3, 3-2 when Jonathan Quick scored the tying goal with 5:57 left in OT.
Quick had his first career NHL hat trick.
The Sharks had two goals and one assist in the fourth.
Dallas was outshot 10-6 in the contest.
The only time Dallas got a shot off in the game was when Ryan Garbutt, who scored the game-winning goal with 9:17 left in extra time, was whistled for a tripping penalty.