BOSTON — This one lived up to the hype.
Tyler Seguin was booed in his return to Boston, and then he and former Bruins teammate Rich Peverley stuck a dagger through TD Garden’s heart with two shootout goals that led Dallas to a 3-2 win Tuesday.
It was a huge victory and a huge statement.
“It was big for us on the road and big for those guys in this building,” said defenseman Stephane Robidas. “We really came together as a team. That’s what it was, a team win.”
After going down 2-1 on a Milan Lucic goal at the 11:39 mark of the third period, the Stars broke back and tied when Vernon Fiddler earned a penalty shot at the 17:26 mark. Fiddler was dragged down by Boston’s Dennis Seidenberg, then converted just his second career penalty shot when he roofed a backhand past Tuukka Rask.
The tie was probably good enough for the Stars, but they were energized and pushed hard in overtime, with Fiddler almost scoring again.
Then, in the shootout, both Seguin and Peverley beat their old goalie, and the Stars pushed their record to 7-6-2.
“It was a hunch,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff, who asked Seguin and Peverley about shooting on Rask.
Seguin praised the city and his experience in Boston, but he clearly heard boos from the crowd, and he endured a couple of days of media scrutiny.
“It’s a special game,” Seguin said. “Any time you score a goal and win, it’s a special game.”
So when he was able to walk out a winner, he wasn’t the only one who felt pretty good about wearing Victory Green.
“We’re on the road, and we’re learning things about each other, so we’re growing together,” Fiddler said. “This is a passionate sports city, so you’re going to have passionate games. I thought we did a great job of raising our level.”
On Monday, when Seguin was facing a media horde, Fiddler was in the background chirping loudly to break the tension. When Seguin was booed off the opening faceoff, linemate Jamie Benn found a way to score a goal and ease the tension.
Benn’s goal was a nice play that was created by his older brother, Jordie, in the neutral zone. Jordie Benn turned the puck over, and pushed it into the offensive zone. Valeri Nichushkin then fed Jamie Benn, who whipped in his fifth goal of the season at the 3:38 mark.
The Stars, however, gave the lead up quickly, as Boston scored 38 seconds later. Former Stars prospect Reilly Smith, who was sent to Boston in the trade, found defenseman Torey Krug driving the net and hit him with a perfect pass. Krug shoveled in his fifth goal of the season and tied it at the 4:16 mark.
At one point, the Stars were outshot 15-1 and were getting pushed around, but they bounced back. In the end, the shots were 36-36, and the Stars learned a lesson.
“We’re a speed team,” Robidas said. “If we play with speed, we’re a hard team to play against. If we play as a team, we’re a hard team to play against.”
Seguin played 22:01, had two shots on goal and went 6-3 in the faceoff circle.
“I thought he was great,” Ruff said.
But what was even greater was how his teammates responded. Ruff cited the play of Fiddler, Shawn Horcoff and Peverley.
“That’s where we changed the game,” Ruff said. “I thought the veterans really came through.”
Ruff said before the game when asked about the challenge for Seguin: “I am more interested in the team’s challenge than I am in just Tyler’s challenge.”
On Tuesday, he got the right answer.
Distributed by MCT Information Services