St. Louis – Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff fired off a text to Rich Peverley right after the game Tuesday night at Scottrade Center to tell him the Stars had beaten the top team in the National Hockey League, the St. Louis Blues.
A text came right back onto Ruff’s smartphone from Peverley, and read, simply:
“Keep rolling, and we’ll see you tomorrow.”
Yes indeed: Keep rolling.
The Stars put the scary events of Monday night aside -- Peverley collapsing on the Stars bench at American Airlines Center and needing life-saving medical treatment -- and beat the NHL’s top team 3-2 in overtime.
Benn and Seguin were on either side of linemate Peverley after they came off on a line change when Peverley collapsed Monday night.
“Last night was a scary situation; today’s a new day,” said Benn, the Stars’ captain. “We were thinking about Rich back home, but I thought we did a great job getting mentally ready for this game. We’re still in a playoff hunt, a good playoff push. We found a way to get to points.”
The victory was the Stars’ third in a row, and they are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games. They’re 32-23-10 for 74 points, in eighth in the Western Conference and in the second and final wild-card playoff spot. The Blues dropped to 44-14-7 for 95 points, first by two points over Anaheim in the NHL standings.
Putting aside the traumatic events “wasn’t easy,” Benn said. One of their teammates, Alex Chiasson, was so emotionally distraught by the event that he was hospitalized Monday night rather than traveling to St. Louis. Still, the Stars were able to focus in on the game, well fought throughout.
“It hit our guys pretty good last night,” Benn said. “I thought we did a job in coming in here and getting two points in a tough building.”
In addition to scoring the winner, Benn sprung Antoine Roussel for his breakaway goal in the second period. Colton Sceviour, one of two players called up from the AHL's Texas Stars to fill out the roster Tuesday, scored the other goal.
Sceviour wasn’t sure what was awaiting him when he joined the team. The incident hit him as well, and he was only watching the game on television.
“You never know what to expect in this situation,” he said. “There’s not a page in a book about how to handle a situation like this. The fact that he texted a lot of guys and told them he was doing well, the fact he was stable, helped guys put that aside for a couple hours and focus on hockey for a little bit. That was huge.”
Goalie Tim Thomas finished with 28 saves for his second win in a Stars uniform. Thomas watched Benn’s winner unfold from the other end of the ice.
“When I saw the puck come to Jamie there, I was like, ‘Bury it,’ and he put it top shelf,” Thomas said. “Awesome job.”
Thomas has only been with the Stars a week, arriving at the trade deadline from Florida. He played his first game Saturday when Kari Lehtonen suffered a concussion, and had the curtailed start Monday before finally playing a full game -- and then some -- Tuesday.
“It helps that Rich is doing really well,” Thomas said. “I’m certainly not trying to underplay anything that happened to Rich, you know, but under the circumstances, I’m going to look at the positives that he’s doing well, and I’m sure he was cheering us on. He’d want us to go out and win the game, and that’s what we did.”
Peverley’s texts Monday from the hospital helped immensely, according to Thomas.
“That set a lot of guys at ease; it did me anyway,” Thomas said.
Likewise, the text Tuesday to Ruff was the best news of the day.