DALLAS (AP) Alexander Radulov let his play speak for itself in his return to the lineup after being benched in Dallas’ previous game.
Radulov had a goal and an assist on a revitalized power play, and the Stars beat the New York Islanders 3-1 on Saturday night.
A healthy scratch in Dallas’ win over Winnipeg on Thursday night, Radulov chose not to talk to the media after this game. His coach and teammates had plenty to say about him.
"It was a huge relief for him,” Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said, “and everybody was happy for him. He does a lot of things that lead to team wins."
Andrew Cogliano and Denis Gurianov also scored for the Stars, and Ben Bishop stopped 34 shots.
"(Radulov) is an elite player,” Bishop said. “I wasn't too worried about him coming back. He probably needed a rest anyway."
Mathew Barzal scored for the Islanders, and Thomas Greiss finished with 34 saves.
“They’re big, they can skate and they have good goaltending,” New York coach Barry Trotz said of the Stars. “They’re going to be a threat for sure. They’re a good hockey team. I liked our effort and I liked a lot of the things we did.”
Radulov scored on a power play to give Dallas a 2-0 lead with just under four minutes left in the first period with assists from John Klingberg and Mattias Janmark.
“Whenever you can get him the puck,” Janmark said, “good things can happen."
Gurianov redirected Radulov’s pass to the front of the net past Greiss on another power play 3:12 into the second period.
New York had only two penalties in the game, both to Barzal.
The Stars have scored four goals in seven power-play opportunities in their last two games. They had two power-play goals only twice in their first 28 games but now have improved their season percentage from 15 to 18 percent.
"Players are moving the puck and have an attack mindset,” Montgomery said of his team’s improved power play. “You want to put their players on their heels."
Barzal scored the Islanders’ goal with 4:33 to play, redirecting Devon Toews’ shot from the blue line past Bishop.
“We preach the same things,” Toews said. “We like to keep teams to the outside and let our goalie see the puck. Tonight, their goalie saw too many of our shots.”
The win enabled Dallas to move one point ahead of idle Winnipeg to third place in the Central Division. The Islanders remained second in the Metropolitan Division.
"They've been the most consistent defensive team for the last year and a half,” Montgomery said. “They're a good measuring mark for us."
New York had the first three shots on goal in the game, including two on the power play, but Dallas came right back with seven straight shots on goal and finished the period with a 16-11 advantage.
Cogliano gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 11:59 of the first when he tipped in a shot by Jamie Oleksiak from the left faceoff circle.
“I got off to sort of a tough start offensively,” Cogliano said after his first goal this season.” I have other jobs to focus on in my (checking) line."
NOTES: Griess extended the Islanders’ record streak of alternating starts by their goalies to 28 games. ... Cogliano’s goal was his first in 32 games, dating back to March 30 at Vancouver. ... The Islanders have allowed more than one power-play goal only three times this season. ... The Stars’ penalty killers have been successful on all seven opponents’ power plays over the last three games. … The Islanders are 3-4-0 since their 17-game points streak (15-0-2) ended.
Islanders: At Tampa Bay on Monday night in the second of a three-game trip.
Stars: Host New Jersey on Tuesday night in the third of four straight home games.
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