The Bruins picked up a big 4-2 win at American Airlines Center over the Stars Thursday as Chad Johnson made 32 saves and Boston (29-15-2) scored its first power play goal of 2014.
Dallas (21-18-7) also notched a power-play goal and former Bruin Tyler Seguin had a pair of assists. After losing 4-3 to Toronto on Tuesday, Boston really needed this win especially with their much-anticipated meeting with Chicago (30-8-11) on Sunday (12:30 p.m., NBC).
Gregory Campbell appeared to score his second goal in as many games just 3:31 into the contest but after a lengthy review, it was incorrectly ruled that he kicked the puck in with his skate. For a while, that call was pivotal as neither team scored in the first period or in most of the second period. David Krejci finally broke the deadlock with four seconds left in the second.
The Stars didn’t trail for long as Erik Cole tied it with his power-play goal at 1:18 of the third period. Seguin just threw the puck at the net and Cole redirected it past Johnson. Two minutes later, Brad Marchand followed his own rebound for a go-ahead goal. Lucic’s power-play goal came on a tip in, it was reviewed since his stick was almost too high, but this one stood up.
Dallas didn’t fold though as Jamie Benn cut it to 3-2 with 1:11 left but Bergeron’s empty-netter clinched it. With these two points, Boston avenged its 3-2 shootout loss to Dallas on Nov. 5 at TD Garden. Now the Bruins turn their attention to the Blackhawks, who are putting together another stellar regular season.
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What they'll be saying: Johnson (7-3-0) certainly had plenty of rest, his last start was Dec. 19 at Buffalo and since then he had only appeared twice when Tuukka Rask got pulled early. The win was Johnson’s first since Dec. 12 in Edmonton. Perhaps he should play a little more often since Thursday was his best performance of the season. This also gave Rask extra rest heading into the showdown with Chicago.
Zdeno Chara was chosen to carry the Slovakian flag at the Opening Ceremonies in Sochi. The Bruins gave their captain permission to go and he’ll miss a few games before the break for the Winter Olympics. On the surface, this might be frustrating to Bruins fans, but remember that we have talked about giving Chara some rest before the playoffs begin. Granted this is a little different situation but any break for Chara is a good thing.
Boston’s first line was back after Krejci, Lucic and Jarome Iginla had been held off the scoresheet in the past four games. Krejci’s goal was his first in six games while Lucic scored his first tally since Dec. 21 (10 games). The Bruins also snapped their ugly power play slump: 0-for-19 in their last seven games.
He came up on the short end but Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen (37 saves) performed admirably. We mention this because he is on Team Finland along with Rask. It's still likely that Rask will be the starter, but as he showed Thursday, Lehtonen is a legitimate contender for what seemed to be Rask’s job to lose in Russia.
It won’t get the hype that it deserves since it is right before the AFC Championship game, but Bruins-Blackhawks is one of the marquee games in the NHL this season. They meet one other time: March 27 in Boston.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate