Hintz scores twice, Wedgewood makes 29 saves to lead Stars over Devils
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Two days after being embarrassed in Philadelphia with one of their worst losses of the season, the Dallas Stars got back on track with an impressive performance against the New Jersey Devils.
The win followed a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia in a contest the Flyers outshot Dallas 43-15.
“I liked all our of our game tonight,” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. "As much as I liked our game tonight, you know, I disliked everything about our last game. So we fixed all the things we needed to fix tonight. We got to go and do that again tomorrow on the Island.”
Joe Pavelski, Matt Duchene, Craig Smith and Wyatt Johnston also scored as the Stars improved to 6-1-1 in their last eight games against New Jersey. Dallas also spoiled a night the Devils inducted three-time Stanley Cup winner and assistant coach Sergei Brylin into their Ring of Honor at the Prudential Center.
Wedgewood was outstanding in improving to 3-0 against his former teammates, although there was some concern early in the third period when a wicked slapshot by Michael McLeod hit him in the facemask and knocked it off. He gave up late goals to Jesper Bratt and Tyler Toffoli after the Stars built a 6-0 lead.
Wedgewood felt the key to his performance was stopping four attempts in close in the opening 37 seconds.
“Obviously it settles the team down,” he said. "We get out of the first little flurry, we score a couple goals, we’re up early, and we we get back to our game.”
Nico Daws finished with 30 saves for the Devils, whose four-goal loss matched their worst of the season.
Pavelski gave the Star the lead after being set up by Jamie Benn between the circles for a power-play goal at 5:42.
Hintz seemed to take the air out of New Jersey with a spectacular short-handed goal at 7:58 where he skated around rookie defenseman Simon Nemec and beat Daws with a nifty backhander in close.
“Yeah, I just tried to get through that guy,” Hintz said of Nemec. "And then I saw I got through and then I just tried to finish it and it went in, I don’t know.”
Duchene put his 15th of the season into an open net after combining with Tyler Seguin in close at 16:31 and Hintz tallied his 20th into another virtually empty net with 18 seconds left in the period.
Smith and Johnston scored meaningless goals in the third period to send many of the Devils fans home early.
The best save of the night for the Stars might have been a combo effort by Wedgewood and Stars captain Benn. The goaltender made a partial save on a Timo Meier shot in close and Benn cleared the puck out of the crease after it got behind him.
New Jersey is now 9-11-2 at home and 1-8-1 in the second game of back-to-back contests.
“It was a night that we knew was going to be tough,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. "They got beat up pretty bad in Philly and got totally dominated. We knew we were coming to the hornets' nest.”
Stars: Head to New York to face the Islanders on Sunday in Patrick Roy's first game as their new coach.
Devils: Play host to Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights on Monday.
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