They say a two goal lead is the worst in hockey, and on Saturday night that proved to be true as the Dallas Stars rallied from down 2-0 with four unanswered goals to defeat the Florida Panthers 4-2. The captain Jamie Benn and his linemate Tyler Seguin, one of the most dynamic duos in the NHL, each scored two goals in this one. Seguin had a four point night as he assisted on both of Benn's goals, and Benn picked up an assist himself.
Adding Patrick Sharp from the Chicago Blackhawks has really been a solidified the top line this season. Sharp’s puck handling and veteran savvy have really meshed well with two young guys that have a ton of speed and skill. Sharp had two assists on the night.
The Stars have won all three games with Kari Lehtonen in net so far this season, and he made 24 saves. Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo made 33 saves on 36 shots faced.
After a scoreless first period, Aleksander Barkov scored his third goal of the season to get the Panthers on the board just 59 seconds into the second. The former number two overall pick was assisted by Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr. Less than two minutes later, Brandon Pirri scored his first goal of the season, unassisted. Seemingly in the blink of an eye the Stars found themselves down 2-0. But it would not take long for their fortunes to turn.
Seguin got the Stars on the board with his second goal of the season at the 6:31 mark of the second period. The rest of the second period got chippy, as these two teams were really getting into the physical play. Last year Dmitry Kulikov injured Seguin on what looked like a dirty play, and was suspended eight games. Some of that animosity seemed to be alive in this one as there were four minor penalties called in the second period, including offsetting minors to Dallas’ Vernon Fiddler and Florida’s Alex Petrovic for roughing.
To begin the third, Dallas had a 4-on-3 man advantage. After the offsetting minors expired, Benn scored his fourth goal off a rebound at the net. He took the rebound and drilled a shot past Luongo on the short side to tie the game just 50 seconds into the third. With that, Erik Gudbranson’s tripping minor was over.
The rest of the game was intense, with neither team breaking through until Seguin scored again, assisted by Benn and John Klingberg to give Dallas their first lead with just 3:02 left in the game. Over the last minute-plus, the Panthers brought the extra skater onto the ice. With just 19 seconds left during a change by the Panthers, Benn got the puck at center ice and lobbed one in the direction of the net and it trickled in for the game clinching goal, as Sharp and Seguin assisted.
In addition to his offense, Seguin did well on draws as he won 9-of-13 face-offs. Jason Spezza was also very good in the circle as he won 5-of-7. For the game, Dallas outshot Florida 37-to-26 and 16-to-8 in both of the final two periods.
These two will meet again one week from tonight in Dallas at 8:00 PM ET. But immediately coming up for Dallas is a trip to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers at 7:30 PM ET on Tuesday, while the Panthers go to Pittsburgh for a matchup with Penguins that same night with a 7:00 PM ET puck drop.