Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Chiasson's second-period tally proved to be the difference, as the Dallas Stars secured their first win under new head coach Lindy Ruff with a 2-1 decision over the Washington Capitals Saturday at American Airlines Center.
Erik Cole also lit the lamp and Kari Lehtonen stopped 25-of-26 shots for the Stars, who bounced back from Thursday's season-opening setback to Florida.
"Before the game you could see that guys wanted to win, play well," Chiasson said. "I thought we looked really good in our zone."
Alex Ovechkin potted a power-play marker for his fourth goal of the season, while Braden Holtby allowed both goals on 21 shots for the Capitals, who failed to build off Thursday's shootout win against Calgary.
After both teams found the back of the net once in the first period, Washington appeared to jump in front just over eight minutes into the second.
Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom tried to bat a rebound into the net, but caught Lehtonen up high with his stick as the puck crossed the goal line, nullifying the goal to keep the score tied.
The call proved costly, as Chiasson found the back of the net nearly four minutes later to give Dallas the lead.
The Stars charged in on a 3-on-2, with Chiasson and Cody Eakin working a nice give-and-go that saw Eakin rifle a shot from the right circle.
Holtby made the initial save, but a charging Chiasson pounded in the rebound to make it 2-1 at the 12:07 mark of the second.
Washington nearly tied the game in the final minute of the tilt, as Dallas' Tyler Seguin was whistled for delay of game after flipping the puck out of play from his own end.
With Holtby on the bench to give Washington a 6-on-4 advantage, the Capitals crashed the Dallas net, but Lehtonen made a nice glove save as time expired to secure the victory for the Stars.
"I think we have to work on our passes," Backstrom said. "I think everything can be better."
Early on, Ovechkin found the back of the net on a one-timer from a tough angle in the low left circle at 4:26, but the Stars countered under four minutes later, as Seguin slid a backhand feed from below the goal line toward the slot, where Cole buried a one-timer to tie the game at 8:01.
Ovechkin's goal was the 375th of his career ... Dallas has claimed four straight in the series and is 9-1-1 in its last 11 matchups against Washington ... Ruff had spent the last 15 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres ... Washington went 1-for-3 on the power play, while Dallas finished 0-for-2.