But what really brought a smile to the face of the business-like
Ruff was a postgame text exchange with fallen center Rich Peverley.
"I texted him right after it was over and he responded," Ruff said.
"He was happy. He said, 'Keep rolling and we'll see you tomorrow."
The Stars, who won their third in a row, were playing just 24 hours
after Peverley suffered a cardiac episode in the first period of a
home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets that eventually was
postponed. Peverley is listed in stable condition at a Dallas
Stars center Jamie Benn scored 3:42 into overtime and goalie Tim
Thomas made 28 saves to post the first win with his new team.
Center Colton Sceviour and left winger Antoine Roussel also scored
for the Stars, who are 11-3-2 in their last 16 games
The Blues had a five-game winning streak snapped.
Thomas also started Monday night's game, which was halted after just
"This felt great," Thomas said. "When the puck came to Jamie there,
I said, 'bury it,' and he put it top shelf. He did an awesome job."
Benn calmly converted up top from close range on a pass from
defenseman Trevor Daley. The Stars captain whipped a shot behind
goalie Ryan Miller, who won his first four starts with the Blues.
"The veterans in the room deserve a lot of credit for this," Ruff
said. "That leadership in the room is the one thing that pushed us
Defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Roman Polak scored for St. Louis.
The Stars stayed focused and seemed to be able to put Monday night's
near-disaster behind them.
"Today was a new day and we were thinking about (Peverley) back
home, but we were able to do a good job and get mentally ready for
this game," Benn said. "It was not easy. It hit our guys pretty good
last night. We did a great job as a group coming here and getting
two points against a tough opponent."
Thomas said once the game started that it was easy to get back to
"Rich is doing really well, so we tried to focus on the game,"
Thomas said, "I'm sure he was cheering us on. He'd want us to go out
and try to win this game and that's what we did."
[to top of second column]
The Stars took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Roussel early in the third
period. The Blues bounced back to tie it on Polak's long shot from
inside the blue line with 14:59 left in the regulation.
Pietrangelo started the scoring with his seventh goal of the season
at 13:01 of the first period. He converted off a shot from forward
Magnus Paajarvi. It was Pietrangelo's first goal in 20 games.
Dallas tied it at 1 on Sceviour's power-play goal with 53 seconds
left in the opening period.
Miller stopped 84 of 90 shots in winning his first four games with
the Blues after coming over from the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 28.
"We were in this game. It could have gone either way," Miller said.
St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock was not as forgiving.
"We're not playing the right way," he said. "It starts with our best
players. They've got to dig in."
NOTES: St. Louis D Jay Bouwmeester played in his 700th successive
NHL game, the longest current active streak among all NHL, NBA, NFL
and MLB athletes. ... Dallas G Kari Lehtonen is listed as day to day
with concussion-like symptoms suffered Saturday against the
Minnesota Wild. ... The Blues had killed off 33 of 35 penalties
before Sceviour's first-period power-play goal. ... St. Louis LW
Jaden Schwartz played in his 100th game. ... The teams will meet
twice in the final 15 days of the regular season. ... Dallas rookie
RW Alex Chiasson did not make the trip. He suffered an anxiety
attack connected with Peverley's heart event on Monday night. "He
was really shaken up," Ruff said.
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