Defenseman Karlis Skrastins broke out in a big way for the Stars.
After 32 games without a goal since signing with Dallas, Skrastins scored two for the first time in his career, helping the Stars end Detroit’s four-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory over the Red Wings yesterday in Dallas.
Skrastins fired over the left shoulder of goaltender Jimmy Howard for the go-ahead goal 1:16 into the third period. He earlier assisted on one of James Neal’s two goals.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,’’ Skrastins said. “I’ve had a couple of good opportunities the last couple games when the puck wasn’t going in. Today was one of those days when the hockey gods were on my side and I had some luck. It was exciting, but the most important thing was that we won the game.’’
Tomas Holmstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, and Todd Bertuzzi scored for Detroit.
Dallas signed Skrastins in the offseason to bolster its defense, and the Latvian was without a goal until yesterday, when he set a career high with three points.
“He had a big smile on his face,’’ Neal said. “He’s usually a shot-blocking machine. He doesn’t score that much so it was nice to get two big goals from him.’’
Ducks 4, Coyotes 2 - Kyle Chipchura scored his first goal since joining the Ducks earlier this month and host Anaheim beat Phoenix.
Jonas Hiller made 17 of his 39 saves in the first period and Phoenix outshot Anaheim, 41-33.
Phoenix defenseman Ed Jovanovski took four minor penalties that led to two power-play goals for Anaheim, including one by Bobby Ryan with 20 seconds remaining.
Predators 5, Flames 3 - Martin Erat had a goal and two assists to lead visiting Nashville past Calgary.
Defenseman Cody Franson scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and added an assist for the Predators, who have gone 7-1-2 since losing at home to Calgary, 5-0, Nov. 30.
Capitals 4, Oilers 2 - Alex Ovechkin scored his 22d and 23d goals early in the third period, and Tomas Fleischmann added the go-ahead goal in Washington’s victory in Edmonton.
Avalanche 5, Blue Jackets 2 - Chris Stewart scored 21 seconds into the game, opening a four-goal flurry in the first period that carried host Colorado past Columbus.
Penguins 2, Sabres 1 - Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves and stopped three more tries in the shootout, and Kris Letang scored the only goal in the tiebreaker in Pittsburgh’s victory in Buffalo.
Canadiens 3, Islanders 0 - Jaroslav Halak made 40 saves for his first shutout of the season, and Andrei Markov scored two of Montreal’s three-power play goals after missing more than two months with a leg injury in the Canadiens’ victory in Uniondale, N.Y.
Devils 5, Thrashers 4 - Visiting New Jersey pulled record-setting goalie Martin Brodeur after he allowed three first-period goals, then rallied for three second-period goals for a victory over Atlanta.
Senators 4, Wild 1 - Mike Brodeur carried a shutout into the third period in his NHL debut, and Erik Karlsson scored his first career goal, leading host Ottawa past Minnesota.
Hurricanes 3, Panthers 2 - Cam Ward made 28 saves, and Matt Cullen had a goal and an assist in host Carolina’s victory Florida.
Rangers 2, Flyers 1 - Artem Anisimov broke a second-period tie and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 35 shots, leading New York’s win in Philadelphia, which spoiled the return of Simon Gagne.