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From the Garden: Tyler Seguin’s hat trick leads Dallas past Bruins

Once upon a time Tyler Seguin played for the Boston Bruins. But on July 4, 2013 – less than two weeks after losing to Chicago in the Stanley Cup Final – the Bruins dealt the now-superstar to Dallas.

Seguin really didn’t fit the Claude Julien-system and he lacked production in the postseason (just 18 points in 42 postseason games).

But now in Dallas he has emerged as a superstar. He has 181 points (including postseason) with Dallas in 170 games and the past two years he finished fourth (2013-14) and seventh (2014-15) in points. To put that into perspective, Seguin played in 245 games with the Bruins (including postseason) and tallied 144 points.

On Tuesday, the star made his return to the TD Garden to wreak havoc with his Dallas Stars (10-3-0), as he led them to a 5-3 victory over the Bruins, behind his hat trick. Seguin now leads the NHL with 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists).

“It feels good,” Seguin said of scoring a hat trick and beating his old team. “It feels good to win here. It’s a tough building to win in. It always feels good to score. I’m very happy with how I responded after playing a bad game in Toronto.”

For the Bruins, that’s another loss at home, as they fall to 6-4-1 on the season, snapping their seven-game point streak and four-game winning streak. The Bruins are an abysmal 1-4-1 at home.

But even more devastating, the Bruins will be without defensemen Chris Kelly, who went down with a fractured femur in the first period. The injury will require surgery and his expected to miss between six and eight months. Kelly, 35, is a free agent at the end of the season.

“We hope we can somehow compensate for his loss, but I think people kind of realize how important he is to our hockey club, not just on the ice but also in the dressing room and around the team,” coach Claude Julien said. “He’s a guy that is extremely respected by his teammates and on the ice he’s given us everything we’ve asked for. He’s been moved around in all different positions, never says a word, but just thrives on the opportunity to play in those spots that we’ve put him.

“He was a very versatile player that we really counted on. No doubt he’ll be missed.”

Patrice Bergeron also weighed in on the loss of Kelly: “As soon as I saw him go down, it didn’t look good and kind of felt like it was going to be a pretty bad injury and unfortunately that’s exactly what it is.

“We’re certainly going to miss him and right now, we’re thinking of him and his family.” 

 

Both Tuukka Rask (3-4-1) and Kari Lehtonen (4-1-0) surrendered first period goals. Rask flinched first, but it was Lehtonen that allowed two goals on the 15 shots he faced.

The Bruins’ offense looked good, per usual and totaled 39 shots on Lehtonen, but could only get three by him.

Seguin broke the scoreless tie on a redirect from Jason Spezza. That goal was Seguin’s 300th career regular-season point and sixth goal on the year, putting him in a two-way tie with teammate Jamie Benn for NHL lead in points. The goal also continued his point streak to six games.

The Bruins, who have the NHL’s number one offense (3.9 goals per game), responded with goals from Colin Miller and Loui Eriksson.

Miller’s goal came a little less than two minutes after Seguin’s to tie the score at, 1-1. That was Miller’s first career NHL goal. The Bruins would add another goal late in the period (19:35). Lehtonen blocked a shot and lost track of the rebound and Eriksson buried the easy put back to give the Bruins the lead.

Seguin scored again in the second period to tie the score at 2-2. The Stars would get a lift from unlikely point-scorer and defesemen Jyrki Jokipakka. Jokipakka was drafted by the Stars in 2011 and spent the last three years split between the AHL and Finland. He did appear in 51 games last year for the Stars and registered 10 points (all assists). The goal was his first in the majors.

The Bruins’ struggles on the power play continued. Dallas scored three power play goals on four opportunities and the Stars only managed 19 total shots. The Bruins’ defense continues to turn the puck over in front of the net and make costly errors for Rask.

“I think that’s an area where he’s (Kelly) really going to be missed,” Brad Marchand said. “He’s such a good penalty killer. He’s got one of the best sticks in the league. When you lose a guy like that on the PK, it’s tough to fill that void. It just puts more pressure on the rest of us.”

Seguin scored his third goal of the game (and NHL-leading 20th point) early in the third on the power play. Alex Goligoski added another power play goal eight minutes later as Dallas took a 5-2 lead. The Stars scored four-consecutive goals from when they trailed 2-1.

Eriksson scored his second goal of the game late in the third period.

The Bruins travel to Washington Thursday for the first of a three-game road trip.

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