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Benn, Seguin help Stars rally past Panthers

by Alain Poupart

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Tyler Seguin was the driving force Saturday behind a comeback he described as "gritty" and "greasy."

Seguin, who had two goals and two assists, scored the game-winner with 3:02 left in the third period, and the Dallas Stars overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat the Florida Panthers 4-2 at BB&T Center.

"Pretty greasy, pretty gritty," Seguin said. "I thought the boys worked hard, played a full 60 minutes, and everyone is happy with that win."

Seguin's game-winning goal came when he backhanded a rebound after Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo stopped defenseman John Klingberg's wrist shot from the point.

He later helped the Stars preserve their lead in the final minute by blocking a shot from the point.

"I���like those plays more than I���like goal-scoring,"���Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "But you need goals to win a game. But those little desperation plays is going to help you win games."

Jamie Benn had two goals and an assist for the Stars, who came in tied for first in the NHL with an average of 3.75 goals per game. Patrick Sharp had two assists.

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen made 22 saves to help Dallas (4-1-0) to its best five-game start since 2011-12.

After being outshot 8-5 in the first period, Dallas had a 32-16 shot advantage the rest of the way.

"We got a little (ticked) off and just started to play our game to a higher level, trying to make them play at our level,"���Benn said. "We were trying to take over the game and we obviously did that."

Aleksander Barkov and Brandon Pirri scored for Florida (3-2-0), which lost at home for the first time in three games. Jaromir Jagr had an assist, giving him seven points in five games.

Luongo made 33 saves but remained tied with Grant Fuhr in ninth place on the NHL's all-time list with 403 career victories.

"We let them back in it,"���Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "For the most part of the game, they were the better team. They deserved to win. It's tough to lose when there's 3 1/2 minutes left in the game on basically a turnover play. Unfortunately, we gave up a point late in the game.

"We let them control the tempo most of the night. They worked harder and were hungrier than us. That's why they won the game."

Center Radek Faksa, the Stars' first-round selection (No. 13) in the 2012 NHL Draft, made his NHL���debut. He played 11:38 and had one shot on goal.

"I���thought he played very well,"���Ruff said. "He had a chance to score in his first shift, just didn't quite get it all on the cross-ice pass. But I���loved the way he played. I���loved the way he competed. He didn't look nervous to me. For a first NHL���game, I���thought he did a heck of a job."

Forward Valeri Nichushkin, Dallas' first-round pick (No. 10) in 2013, was in the lineup after being scratched the previous two games.

Florida led 2-1 before Benn tied the game 50 seconds into the third with Dallas on a 4-on-3 power play.

Benn, who has a point in all five Dallas games this season and a goal in the past three, redirected Seguin's pass to the front of the net. Benn scored into an empty net with 18.6 seconds left.

Barkov opened the scoring 59 seconds into the second period after a successful coach's challenge. He put the puck past Lehtonen after taking a cross-ice pass from Jonathan Huberdeau, but the goal quickly was waved off after goalie interference was ruled against Jagr.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the NHL Situation Room in Toronto, the referee determined that Jagr did not interfere with Lehtonen before the puck crossed the goal line.

"They made the right call, and on anything that close, you're going to challenge,"���������Gallant said. "I looked up at the clock and said, 'I think it's going to count.' I liked the look of it."

Pirri made it 2-0 at 2:03 with his first goal of the season. Pirri, who had 22 goals in 49 games in 2014-15, beat Lehtonen between the legs on a breakaway.

Pirri lost his balance and crashed into the boards right after scoring and went to the locker room. He returned a few minutes later.

Seguin cut into the Florida lead at 6:31 of the second when he also scored on a breakaway, beating Luongo with a low shot to the glove side.

"I���������do it often, and Lou came out to me after and said he knew I was going there, so he asked if I took a little off of it or something, if I���������whiffed on it,"���������Seguin said. "But coming out quick and just quick release, I���������enjoy doing that."

The goal came after Sharp intercepted a pass just inside the Dallas zone. Sharp earlier left the game for a few minutes after taking a hard hit into the boards from Florida defenseman Erik Gudbranson.

The Panthers and Stars will face each other for the second and final time this season next Saturday in Dallas.

"You can't give teams like this life,"���������Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell said. "We're up 2-0, and you just want to keep them sleeping. But then we turned pucks over and started taking penalties. You want to put teams like that away and keep them quiet."

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