Seguin scores twice during big 2nd, Stars beat Capitals 4-3

DALLAS (AP) — Tyler Seguin scored twice during a four-goal second period and the Dallas Stars held off the Washington Capitals 4-3 in a battle between two of the NHL's top teams on Saturday night.

Washington leads the Eastern Conference, and Dallas began the night one point behind Chicago for the Western Conference lead.

Seguin has 30 goals this season. Jamie Benn scored his 29th, and rookie Mattias Janmark started the scoring with his 11th.

Alex Ovechkin, Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky scored for Washington in the third period. Ovechkin's league-leading 35th came on the power play.

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby lost in regulation for just the second time since Nov. 12. Philipp Grubauer replaced Holtby in the third period and made 10 saves.

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped 20 shots. Holtby had 21 saves.

Two of Washington's 10 regulation losses this season were against the Stars, who have won nine straight against the Capitals dating back to Nov. 25, 2008.

Dallas defenseman Patrick Nemeth and Washington C Evgeny Kuznetsov each had two assists.

Both teams were coming off two straight road wins. Dallas had won in Chicago on Thursday night, and the Capitals had five straight wins overall.

In the first period, the teams skated end to end with limited scoring chances. The Stars outshot the Capitals 8-6.

The two best opportunities came during the first 4 1/2 minutes. Lehtonen stopped Jason Chimera when he came in alone a minute into the game. Later, Holtby turned away Vernon Fiddler's shot from the slot.

Dallas didn't score on the period's only power play.

On a 2-on-1 rush in the second, Janmark took a pass from Ales Hemsky below the left faceoff circle and shot past Holtby into the upper right corner of the net at 1:55.

Barely 5 minutes later, Patrick Eaves set up Benn with a backhand pass through the goal mouth. The net was so open that Benn was able to whiff on one shot, recover and score from low in the right circle.

Dallas killed Washington's first power play of the game midway through the second period.

The lead grew to 3-0 when Nemeth sent Seguin into the Capitals end. When no defender picked him up, Seguin sent a shot from the right circle between Holtby's legs.

Seguin scored again at 19:23. With the Stars on a 5-on-3 power play, he put in the rebound of John Klingberg's shot.

NOTES: The Capitals and Dallas entered the game first and second in the league in goals for, goal differential, shooting percentage and most important, points percentage. ... Eaves has eight of his 12 points this season in the past five games (four goals, four assists). ... Holtby entered the game 27-1-3 since Nov. 12, with the only regulation loss Jan. 16 at Buffalo. ... Kuznetsov passed the league's concussion protocol and played Saturday after leaving Thursday night's game early. ... Nemeth's two assists tied his career high. He has five of his nine career points (all assists) in the last five games he has played.