The Glen Gulutzan era got off to a nice start, and the Dallas Stars will now look to make it two straight wins for their new coach.
Dallas goes for its fifth straight victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, who open their United Center schedule Saturday night in the conclusion of this home-and-home set.
Hired in June after former coach Marc Crawford's two-year run extended the club's postseason drought to three seasons, the 40-year-old Gulutzan was a winner Friday night in his first NHL game as a player or coach.
"It's a relief," Gulutzan said after defenseman Alex Goligoski and Jamie Benn scored second-period goals in the 2-1 victory. "Now I know I can win one."
The Stars, who return home for three straight games following Saturday's matchup, could win plenty more if Kari Lehtonen continues his solid play in net. He stopped 37 shots in the opener -- 22 in the second period when Chicago had three power plays -- allowing only Nick Leddy's goal with 13.6 seconds left.
"All the penalties seemed to be (against) us," said Lehtonen, 4-0-0 with a 1.47 goals-against average against the Blackhawks as a member of the Stars. "It was a tough task there, but the penalty killing unit took most of the crazy chances away. It was a great battle. I was able to see the puck well tonight."
Chicago is looking to bounce back after losing its fifth consecutive season opener.
"It's not the way we wanted to start the season, obviously," captain Jonathan Toews said. "I think we made too many mistakes and gave up too many chances. We've got to play with a little more energy."
The Blackhawks should get a boost from their home crowd as they begin a three-game stretch at the United Center, but the club has dropped its last three home openers.
Chicago went 24-17-0 on home ice last season after going 29-8-4 there during its Stanley Cup-winning season of 2009-10.
Center Dave Bolland sat out Friday due to an upper-body injury, but he practiced Thursday and could play in this contest.
Blackhawks fans could get their first look at 18-year-old rookie Brandon Saad, who started on the first line alongside Toews and Patrick Kane on Friday and logged 13:05 of ice time.
Corey Crawford is expected to be in net again for Chicago after turning aside 31 shots. He lost his first three home starts last season, but went 18-8-0 with a 2.33 GAA in 26 United Center starts after that.
Stars forward Adam Burish, a member of the Blackhawks from 2006-2010, is expected to play after missing Friday's contest with a groin injury.
Chicago will be without rugged forward Daniel Carcillo for a second straight game as he finishes a suspension stemming from his conduct toward officials during last season's playoffs.
The clubs don't meet again until Dallas returns to Chicago on Feb. 23.