DALLAS (AP) – Brett Ritchie scored in his first round against his previous team in just a minute and Boston Bruins opened the Eastern Conference title defense with a 2-1 win over Dallas Stars on Thursday night. .
Danton Heinen scored a power-play goal in the first half and Tuukka Rask made 28 saves in a team meeting that lost match 7 in the playoffs for the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis last season – the Stars in double overtime in Monday round and the Bruins in the World Cup finals.
Dallas's goal came less than a minute after defender Roman Polak had to be pulled out of a stretcher after headfirst into the boards when he attempted to kick Chris Wagner with the remaining 12:56 in the second period.
Polak barely moved while lying face down on the ice before being thrown on a board and lifted on the stretcher during a delay that lasted almost 10 minutes. The Stars said he was being evaluated in a hospital.
Roope Hintz's goal came 51 seconds later, when the 22-year-old defeated baton Rask's side in a partial breach after Mattias Janmark split two defenders with a pass. Joe Pavelski got his first point with Stars with a take-away assist that kicked off the race.
Vezina Trophy finalist Ben Bishop gave up goals in the first two kicks in Boston before saving the final 18.
Ritchie, 26, spent the first five NHL seasons with Stars in the second round of 2011, signing as a free agent in Boston after two disappointing seasons in Dallas after scoring 16 goals – almost half of his total career – in 2016- 17
Ritchie's goal came at 1:09 when Andrew Cogliano failed to get a Bishop pass out of the zone and turned the puck near the blue line. Charlie Coyle received an assistance.
Heinen beat Bishop in the left circle about five minutes later, after Alexander Radulov was called to hold.
Rask made 16 saves in the third period.
NOTES: Stars lost a pair of strikers earlier, with Blake Comeau suffering a lower body injury and Jason Dickinson suffering an upper body injury. … Former President George W. Bush made the ceremonial puck. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush live in Dallas. … The Bruins improved to 9-21-5 in season openers on the road. … Stars opened the season at home for the ninth consecutive year. They are 5-3-1 in these games.
Bruins: A four-game trip to open the season continues on Saturday in Arizona.
Stars: In St. Louis on Saturday, the first since losing game 7 in the second round of last season.
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