Richards scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period, Marty Turco stopped all seven shots he faced in the final period, and the Stars snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday night.
Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro made 24 saves in his first game in more than a year. DiPietro sustained a left knee injury on Jan. 2, 2008, that required major surgery. He completed a minor-league rehab assignment and the 28-year-old goalie got the start on the second stop of a three-game trip.
Dallas is 9-2-2 in its last 13 at home, 1-6-3 in its previous 10 on the road.
"We'll take it," Stars captain Brenden Morrow said of a win that was marred by some sloppy defensive plays by both sides in the first two periods. "We beat ourselves up pretty good over the last two games, so any positives we can find, we want to take those out of tonight and take it on the road."
Dallas tightened up defensively in the final period, and Eriksson said the Stars must maintain that mindset on the road.
"We've got to do the same as we do in this building," said Eriksson, who scored his 18th goal of the season to tie James Neal for the team lead. "It's not easy for us to get points now. We've got to dig in and win some games."
The game was tied at 3 when Richards capitalized on the rebound of Eriksson's shot at 16:47 of the second period.
"I was hoping the puck would come out, and sometimes they come right on your stick," Richards said. "I got lucky."
New York's John Tavares nearly notched the tying goal with about 45 seconds left, but his shot from close range glanced off the right goal post. Turco did the rest, improving his record to 14-10-8.
"Marty battled hard and came up big when he needed to in the third," Morrow said.
DiPietro was caught out of position on Richards' goal.
"I'm not going to lie, I was nervous, but I got a chance to handle the puck a couple of times, made a few saves and ease my way into it," DiPietro said. "The fourth goal was kind of a sloppy rebound on my part and that's the kind of stuff that comes back and bites you."
Petersen got the game's first goal at 4:44 of the first period when his deflection glanced off the stick of Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt and through DiPietro's pads.
The Isles drew even at 1 at 7:16 of the first period when Bailey took advantage of a Dallas defensive breakdown.
New York's Trent Hunter sent a soft shot toward the net that dribbled off Turco's pad. Stars defenseman Trevor Daley whiffed on a clearing attempt, with Bailey firing the puck past Turco on the Islanders' first shot on goal.
The Islanders took a 2-1 lead at 19:19 of the first period on another error by Daley.
Daley was unable to control the puck behind his net, and it bounced in front where Okposo beat Turco.
Eriksson got Dallas even at 2 on a wrist shot from the slot at 4:18 of the second period.
Turco fanned while attempting an up-ice pass, leaving the puck in front of the net where Nielsen scored to make it 3-2 at 7:47 of the second period.
"Those were bad mistakes, but we got it back and got a win," Eriksson said.
The Isles' lead was short-lived with Morrow needing only 24 seconds to tie it at 3.
The Stars were playing their first game since second-line C Mike Ribeiro sustained a serious throat injury. Ribeiro will be out four to six weeks because of a throat contusion. He was hit in the neck by the stick of New York Rangers forward Christopher Higgins in the second period Wednesday night. Ribeiro will remain in a Manhattan hospital through the weekend recovering from a throat procedure that included a tracheotomy. ... On Friday night Stars coach Marc Crawford moved C Tom Wandell to the No. 2 line and C Mike Modano from the fourth to the third line. Winger Steve Ott centered the fourth line. ... D Radek Martinek (knee), RW Tim Jackman (face) and LW Sean Bergenheim (rib) are out for the Islanders. ... Dallas D Nicklas Grossman was out with a lower-body injury.