DALLAS — Alexander Radulov scored twice and Dallas routed the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 on Saturday, a night after the Stars’ front office ripped captain Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin by saying the high-priced forwards were underperforming for a team falling short of expectations.
Seguin assisted on Radulov’s second goal, the third of the second period for Dallas to give the Stars a 3-0 lead. Benn was held without a point for the ninth time in 10 games.
Ben Bishop stopped 33 shots for the Stars a game after Anton Khudobin set a franchise record for saves in a shutout with 49 in a 2-0 victory at Nashville.
Despite that victory coming out of the Christmas break, Stars CEO Jim Lites requested interviews Friday with reporters who cover the Stars and used words such as “terrible” and “embarrassing” to describe the play of Benn and Seguin.
Both players are under expensive contracts that go well into the 2020s, including an eight-year extension that Seguin signed before the season. They said after the morning skate that they hadn’t heard directly from Lites before the comments.
Seguin and Benn largely shrugged off the criticism, with Benn saying he played for his teammates and coaches, not the CEO. Seguin said he thinks the team got the message.
Lites’ harsh critique came when the Stars held the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. He said owner Tom Gaglardi was equally frustrated, and both were concerned that Dallas would miss the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 seasons without better play from the two stars.
Blake Comeau opened the scoring early in the second period, and Radulov collected his 12th and 13th goals less than four minutes apart.
Radulov normally shares a line with Benn and Seguin, but the Russian opened with Benn and Roope Hintz while Seguin played with Devin Shore and Denis Gurianov.
Tyler Pitlick’s third goal in three games since he was a healthy scratch in his home state of Minnesota put Dallas in front 4-0 early in the third period. Jason Spezza, who also had an assist, made it 5-0 with an unassisted goal.
Detroit’s Dylan Larkin ended the shutout early in the third period and extended his career-best points streak to 13 games, the longest active streak in the NHL.
NOTES: Radek Faksa had two assists for Dallas. … Detroit defenceman Trevor Daley, who played his first 11 seasons in Dallas, was honoured on the video board over recently playing in his 1,000th career game. Daley played 756 games for the Stars. … Valeri Nichushkin was a healthy scratch for the Stars. He still doesn’t have a goal in 30 games in his return to Dallas from the KHL after spending his first three NHL seasons with the Stars.
Red Wings: Florida at home Monday.
Stars: Montreal in annual New Year’s Eve home game Monday.
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The Associated Press