ST. LOUIS – Wyatt Johnston scored twice, Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist and the Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Wednesday night to take the Central Division lead.
Dallas moved ahead of idle Colorado for the top spot in the Central with 106 points. Colorado has 105 points, but has two games left to one at home against St. Louis on Thursday night for the Stars.
“We definitely know what’s at stake and know what the standings are like,” Johnston said. “We can only really control what we can control and that’s, you know, trying to win games.”
Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz also scored for Dallas and Scott Wedgewood made 16 saves. The Stars finished with 25 road victories to tie the franchise record set in 2005-06.
“An important win,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “We want to keep the pressure on Colorado and keep our hopes alive to win the division. And, you know, that was the goal coming onto the road trip to make sure we took care of our business and win two games and we did that.”
Jason Robertson (109 points) had three assists for the Stars to move past Jeremy Roenick (107 in 1992-93) and Jimmy Carson (107 in 1987-88) for points in a season by a U.S.-born player age 23 or younger.
“Everyone’s burying,” Robertson said. “I mean when everyone’s scoring goals, guys are contributing, right, and our power play’s been kind of hot lately too, so, a lot of secondary (assists). It’s good though. We’re producing, we’re winning games.”
Robert Thomas had a goal and an assist for St. Louis. Jakub Vrana also scored and Joel Hofer made 32 saves.
“They won a lot of draws in our zone,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “Personally, I didn’t think we fought enough to get out there, put pressure on them and kill the play. We let ourselves get picked too easily, and then it causes issues.”
Hintz and Johnston cashed in on a double-minor penalty called on Sammy Blais with power-play goals 48 seconds apart early in the second period to make it 4-2.
The goals were nearly identical, with Hintz and Johnston left alone in the slot to bury one-timers off passes behind the net to give the Stars a 4-2 lead.
“I think we were just buzzing around, retrievals were great, just trying to really get shots through and I mean, everyone just really contributed,” Robertson said.
Seguin, who played in his 900th game, extended the advantage with another power-play goal late in the second.
Dallas went 3 for 4 with the man advantage, taking advantage of a penalty kill that entered the contest 29th in the NHL with a paltry 72.9% success rate.
“We took some unnecessary penalties in the second period that cost us,” Berube said. “They entered our zone too easily on their breakouts. They had too much time with the puck, that’s the bottom line. Not enough pressure.”
Miro Heiskanen (73 points) had two assists to pass Sergei Zubov (71 in 2005-06) for the most points in a season by a defenseman in Dallas history.
Heiskanen, who has 62 assists, also passed Craig Hartsburg (60 in 1981-82) for the most assists in a season by a defenseman in franchise history and tied Reijo Ruotsalainen (73 in 1984-85) for the most points in a season by a Finnish-born defenseman.
“He did it without it affecting his defensive game,” DeBoer said. “He plays against all the best players every night too.”
“It’s been unbelievable to watch him play,” Johnston said. “He might the most fun player that I have a chance to watch. He’s so effortless, so good out there.”