Stars refocus as Jamie Benn's OT goal leads way vs. NHL-best Blues


ST. LOUIS -- Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff fired off a text to Rich Peverley right after Tuesday night's game at Scottrade Center, saying the Stars had beaten the top team in the NHL, the St. Louis Blues.

A text came right back onto Ruff's smartphone from Peverley and read simply, "Keep rolling, and we'll see you tomorrow."

The Stars put aside the scary events of Monday night -- Peverley collapsing on the Stars' bench at American Airlines Center and needing life-saving medical treatment -- and they beat the Blues 3-2 in overtime.

Jamie Benn scored the game winner with 1:18 left in overtime, sniping a shot over Ryan Miller's glove on assists from Trevor Daley and Tyler Seguin.

Benn and Seguin were on either side of linemate Peverley after they came off on a line change when Peverley collapsed Monday night.

"Last night was a scary situation; today's a new day," said Benn, the Stars' captain. "We were thinking about Rich back home, but I thought we did a great job getting mentally ready for this game. We're still in a playoff hunt, a good playoff push. We found a way to get two points."

The victory was the Stars' third in a row and their eighth in 11 games in which they've gone 8-2-1. They're 32-23-10 for 74 points, in eighth in the Western Conference in the second and final wild-card playoff spot.

The Blues dropped to 44-14-7 for 95 points, first by two points over Anaheim in the NHL standings.

Putting aside the traumatic events "wasn't easy," Benn said. Another teammate, Alex Chiasson, was so emotionally distraught by the events of Monday that he was hospitalized that night rather than traveling to St. Louis. Still, the Stars were able to focus in on the game, well fought throughout.

"It hit our guys pretty good last night," Benn said. "I thought we did a job in coming in here and getting two points in a tough building."

In addition to scoring the winner, Benn sprung Antoine Roussel for his breakaway goal in the second period. Colton Sceviour, one of two players called up from the AHL Texas Stars to fill out the roster Tuesday, scored the other goal.

The incident hit Sceviour as well, and he was only watching the game on television.

"You never know what to expect in this situation," he said. "There's not a page in a book about how to handle a situation like this. The fact that he texted a lot of guys and told them he was doing well, the fact he was stable, helped guys put that aside for a couple hours and focus on hockey for a little bit. That was huge."

Goalie Tim Thomas finished with 28 saves for his second win in a Stars uniform. Thomas watched Benn's winner unfold from the other end of the ice.

"When I saw the puck come to Jamie there, I was like, 'Bury it,' and he put it top shelf ," Thomas said. "Awesome job."

Thomas has been with the Stars only a week, having arrived at the trade deadline from Florida. He played his first game Saturday when Kari Lehtonen suffered a concussion and had the abbreviated start Monday before finally playing a full game -- and then some -- Tuesday.

"It helps that Rich is doing really well," Thomas said. "I'm certainly not trying to underplay anything that happened to Rich, you know, but under the circumstances, I'm going to look at the positives that he's doing well, and I'm sure he was cheering us on. He'd want us to go out and win the game, and that's what we did."

Peverley's texts Monday from the hospital helped immensely, according to Thomas.

"That set a lot of guys at ease; it did me, anyway," Thomas said.

For the Blues, defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Roman Polak ended lengthy goal droughts as St. Louis lost for the first time in its five games with Miller as the new goalie.

Sceviour scored on Miller on a power play in the first period. Miller robbed the other call-up, Chris Mueller, with a glove save from point-blank range with 2:16 to go in the third. But he couldn't corral a shot by Benn that gave Dallas its fourth win in five games.

The Stars' home game against Columbus was postponed Monday night after Peverley suffered a cardiac event and collapsed. Peverley remained hospitalized in stable condition Tuesday while undergoing tests.

Benn has scored in three straight games and has seven points in a five-game streak.

The Blues are 18-0-2 against the Central Division, breaking the franchise record of 19 consecutive games with a point in divisional play set in 1968-69. During the five-game winning streak, they never allowed more than two goals.

Polak tied it at 2 at 5:01 of the third period with his first goal in 37 games and fourth overall. He sent a drive through traffic that got past Thomas.

Pietrangelo, who earlier this season became the first Blues defenseman to score 40 points in his first three seasons, snapped a 20-game goal drought in the first period.

Pietrangelo had 11 assists since his previous goal Jan. 10 at Vancouver.

Roussel scored on a breakaway earlier in the first period to put the Stars ahead, sending the puck slowly trickling between Miller's pads. Roussel got free after David Backes flubbed a cross-ice pass near the blue line in the offensive zone.

Sceviour, among the leading scorers in the AHL for Texas Stars, scored his fourth goal in eight games this season against a team that had killed 33 of 35 power-play chances the previous 11 games.

Game notes
Blues D Jay Bouwmeester played in his 700th consecutive regular-season game, the longest active streak in major sports. ... The Blues fell to 36-1-5 when scoring first. ... Roussel had one assist the previous four games. ... Polak has four goals, tying his career best for a season.

Information from contributor Dave Luecking and The Associated Press was used in this report.