Roussel’s goal sends Stars past Coyotes 3-1

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“We talked about this morning that two teams that are pretty similar and tight, somebody’s going to take advantage of an opportunity and win a game,” Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. “And I thought we were able to push through.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, there was little to separate the teams in the first period. And while the Stars had better chances early in the second, it was Vermette who continued his hot streak with a breakaway goal midway through the period to put Phoenix ahead.

Vermette won the puck along the boards at center ice and skated in alone, sending a backhander past Lehtonen at 9:18 to make it 1-0. It was Vermette’s team-best 21st goal.

Shortly after Vermette nearly scored another breakaway goal while short-handed, and with the Phoenix crowd booing what it felt should have been a Dallas penalty, the Stars tied it.

Horcoff’s no-look backhander from the slot on the power play slipped past Smith with 7:28 left in the second period.

Dallas controlled the final period, with Garbutt’s empty-net goal with 26.7 seconds left putting it away and setting up a happy postgame reunion with the dads.

“I think the ones whose sons’ scored are especially proud of them,” Ruff said. “And they get to see it live. That part is good.”

NOTES: The Stars improved to 12-2-2 against Pacific Division opponents. … Vermette’s career-best, eight-game point streak matches Shane Doan’s for the longest of the season for the Coyotes. … Vermette (367) and teammate Keith Yandle (359) extended the third- and fourth-longest active consecutive games played streaks in the NHL. … The Coyotes have won consecutive games just once since mid-December.

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