Nichushkin has 2 goals, Stars rout Maple Leafs 7-1

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 23, 2014
Valeri Nichushkin scored two goals to lead the Dallas Stars to a 7-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night. Jamie Benn had his 100th career goal and three assists for Dallas, which broke open a 2-1 lead with four second-period goals and ended Toronto's six-game winning streak. Cody Eakin added a goal and an assist, and Alex Goligowski, Sergei Gonchar and Tyler Seguin each had two assists for the Stars, who won their second game in a row since ending a 1-8-1 slide. Kari Lehtonen made 24 saves. Nikolai Kulemin had the lone goal for Toronto. After Nichushkin's first goal, Toronto coach Randy Carlyle replaced Jonathan Bernier with James Reimer, who allowed the final four goals, including one on a power play by Shawn Horcoff and one short-handed by Rich Peverley. Nichushkin, a rookie, had his first two-goal game to bring his season total to 11 goals in 48 games. He deflected Benn's shot into the net for a 3-1 lead in the second period, and put in a rebound in the third. Trevor Daley also scored in the second period while each team had only four skaters on the ice. Benn had given the Stars a short-lived 1-0 lead at 7:09 of the first period. His drive from the top of the slot went over Bernier and under the crossbar. Thirty seconds later, Kulemin tied the game by deflecting a similar shot by teammate Carl Gunnarsson past Lehtonen. The Stars regained the lead at 15:47 when Eakin fired a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle for his 12th goal, just 12 seconds after Dallas killed a penalty. Nichushkin extended the Stars' advantage to 3-1 at 6:36 of the second period when he deflected in Benn's shot from the blue line. Less than two minutes after Nichushkin's goal, Horcoff took a pass at the blue line, outskated two defenders and beat Reimer with a low shot. At 11:37, Peverley scored when he and Benn skated in 2-on-2. Daley sent a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle into the net at 15:33 for a 6-1 lead. NOTES: Benn, 24, became the first Dallas player to reach 100 career goals before his 25th birthday. ... Eakin left the game in the third period because of an upper-body injury. ... The Stars' Alex Cole played in his 800th NHL game. ... An assist on Kulemin's goal gave Nazem Kadri five in the last five games. ... The last time Toronto won seven consecutive games was in 2003-04. ... Dallas had lost its previous seven games against Eastern Conference opponents. ... The Stars' power play has scored in six games in a row, with a total of seven goals. Dallas killed all three minor penalties, and has been successful 11 consecutive times. The Maple Leafs have allowed 11 power-play goals in their last 14 games. ... In 58 career games against Toronto, defenseman Gonchar has 56 points (16 goals, 40 assists).
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