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Stars end 4-game skid with 2-1 win over Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Jason Robertson and Wyatt Johnston scored and the Dallas Stars made the most of their limited scoring chances in a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Jake Oettinger made 20 saves as the Central Division-leading Stars snapped a four-game winless streak. Miro Heiskanen assisted on both goals.

Sebastian Aho scored for the Hurricanes and goalie Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 14 shots. Carolina’s four-game winning streak ended.

Oettinger was pulled in Thursday night’s loss after allowing three goals on 11 shots at Ottawa, so he was looking to make amends.

“Those hurt big-time because you don’t want to let your team down,” Oettinger said.

He appreciated the support in front of him Saturday, referring to “the big kills, the blocks, the sticks.” He was called on for only four saves in the third period on his way to notching his second victory against the Hurricanes this month.

“Jake had a great bounce-back game,” Robertson said. “Not just him, but the whole group.”

The teams combined for just seven third-period shots.

“I didn’t think they generated much either,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We didn’t get any bounces and they made two really nice plays on the goals. Individual efforts, that was the difference.”

Robertson posted his 19th goal of the season, but his first in six games when he recovered from his initial shot being blocked and then slapped the puck into a largely open net.

“It’s just something instinctual,” Robertson said. “You have to make a play as quick as possible.”

Until Robertson’s goal, Kochetkov had gone more than 160 consecutive minutes without giving up a goal on home ice. That was the longest home shutout sequence in franchise history, breaking Arturs Irbe’s mark (157:48) that stood for 25 years.

Aho’s breakaway goal 2:16 into the second period pushed his team-leading total to 22. He has Carolina’s only two goals across a two-game stretch, increasing his goals streak to three games.

Johnston scored his 19th of the season at 8:15 of the second period. It ended up counting as his first game-winning goal since mid-November.

The day began with the Stars clinging to just a one-point edge on Winnipeg and Colorado in the Central Division.

“You just got to win,” Oettinger said. “Just win.”

Forward Logan Stankoven, two days shy of his 21st birthday, made his NHL debut for the Stars. He was leading the American Hockey League in points when he was called up.

“Not much time and space out there,” said Stankoven, who registered two of the Stars’ seven first-period shots. “Still trying to go to the net and make plays. … I don’t change anything from the American League to the NHL.”

Center Tyler Seguin was out for Dallas after an injury two nights earlier, missing a game for the first time this season.

UP NEXT

Stars: Host the New York Islanders on Monday.

Hurricanes: At Buffalo on Sunday.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

Bob Sutton, The Associated Press