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John Klingberg carries Stars past Panthers

Defenseman scores with 1:07 to play, Kari Lehtonen makes 41 saves for Dallas

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John Klingberg scored with 1:07 to play, and Kari Lehtonen made a season-high 41 saves to help the Dallas Stars defeat the Florida Panthers 2-1 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Saturday.

Klingberg beat Panthers goalie James Reimer with a wrist shot on the stick side. Jamie Benn kept the play alive when he gloved the puck down near the blue line and made a pass to Tyler Seguin, who connected with Klingberg.

 

WATCH: All Stars vs. Panthers highlights

 

"I think it could have gone either way, but our goalie was the big difference tonight," Benn said. "He made a lot of big saves in there and we hunkered down in the end."

Benn scored, Seguin had two assists, and Dallas (26-29-10) ended a six-game road losing streak. 

"I don't think we're too much thinking about our record or how we played lately on the road," Lehtonen said. "Just come here and compete and everyone work hard, and just work for each other. Don't really think about the score or past results, and tonight it worked."

Video: DAL@FLA: Lehtonen comes up with a pair of huge saves

Reimer made 32 saves for the Panthers (29-24-11), who lost two games in a row 2-1, including at the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

"These are tight games now, and at the end of the day they kind of got two lucky ones," Reimer said. "We had some good chances, we had some good offensive time [in the] zone and we couldn't buy one tonight."

Benn gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 11:01 of the first period. Florida tied the game 1-1 when Jonathan Huberdeau scored on the power play at 16:20. Jonathan Marchessault and Aleksander Barkov had the assists on Huberdeau's fifth goal of the season.

Lehtonen, who made 40 saves twice this season, made 16 in the first period.

"There was lots of action, which was nice, kept me going the whole time," Lehtonen said. "There are certainly pucks that I'm not able to see, and tonight I got some good bounces and our [defense] was taking the rebounds. It was good."

Video: DAL@FLA: Huberdeau wires a PPG past Lehtonen

 

Goal of the game

Benn's goal came on a tic-tac-toe passing sequence with Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin.

"It was a great play by [Spezza] and kind of a little lucky bounce to me at the open net just to tap it in," Benn said. "I think it all started with Spezza making a good play."

Video: DAL@FLA: Benn slips Seguin's feed past Reimer

 

Save of the game

Lehtonen made a left toe save on Marchessault at 9:52 of the third period. It was the third save Lehtonen made in a seven-second span with the Panthers crashing the net.

 

Highlight of the game

Klingberg's goal came after Benn reached back and stopped the puck from entering the Panthers bench on a potential zone clearance.

"You're looking to your best guys to make the difference for you," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "It was a good play keeping it in and great pass to Klingberg."

Video: DAL@FLA: Klingberg nets a clutch go-ahead tally

 

Unsung performance of the game

Stars defenseman Stephen Johns had four shots, two hits and blocked a shot in 18:42.

 

They said it

"He played a real good game for us, real solid game. I thought he made a couple big saves in the third period and I thought both goalies were excellent. Both goalies had to make some big saves." -- Stars coach Lindy Ruff on Kari Lehtonen

 

"It was tough. Tight game as we expected. Our line, we had quite a few chances [and we] couldn't bury [them], so it's definitely disappointing knowing I could have helped. It's tough, it's tough losing those games knowing we needed those two points." -- Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad

 

Need to know

Stars forward Remi Elie made his NHL debut and played 15:29 in 22 shifts. … Dallas committed three penalties, all in the first period. Florida went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

 

What's next

Stars: At the Washington Capitals on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the New York Rangers on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, MSG, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lehtonen's strong outing leads Stars to 2-1 victory

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