DALLAS (AP) Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves in Dallas’ first shutout since December, and the Stars beat the New York Islanders 3-0 on Saturday night to maintain their hold on sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.
Tyler Seguin, the Stars’ 33-goal scorer, is expected to miss the rest of the regular season after having surgery on Friday to repair a partially torn right Achilles tendon. Eakin stepped up with his 15th goal in the second period and Eaves with his eighth on a third-period breakaway. Hemsky scored his 12th into an empty net with 2:54 remaining.
Dallas has 95 points – four ahead of both Los Angeles and St. Louis, who each played later Saturday – with nine games left.
Thomas Greiss made 33 saves for New York, which dropped to fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders are still in position for the Eastern Conference’s first wild card with 85 points and 12 games remaining.
The Stars outshot the Islanders 11-10 in a scoreless first period, and Dallas had better scoring chances.
Greiss stopped Antoine Roussel‘s in-close backhand shot four minutes into the game and gloved John Klingberg‘s wrist shot on the first power play. With about 11 minutes elapsed, Stephen Jones sent a shot from the right point off the left goalpost.
Near the middle of the second period, each team had good chances.
Hemsky faked a defenseman out of the say but then Hemsky’s short shot went wide right. For the Islanders, Anders Lee deflected a shot by Ryan Strome with his stick. The puck went behind Lehtonen but rolled off to the left of the net.
Eakin scored at 13:07 on a 2-on-1 break with Jamie Benn. Instead of passing to Benn on the left, Eakin lifted a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle over Greiss’ right shoulder.
In the third period, Eaves took away the puck at Dallas’ blue line and skated in alone on Greiss. Eaves’ first shot went into the goalie’s pads, but he knocked in the rebound.
Hemsky scored from the neutral zone with 2:54 left in the game to make it 3-0.
NOTES: Eakin has four goals and four assists in the last six games. … Klingberg returned after missing six games because of a lower-body injury. … In their first five games against Dallas with Lindy Ruff as the Stars’ coach, the Islanders scored 26 goals and were 4-0-1. … New York has had only seven power plays in the last six games.