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Lindback's 34 saves in relief help Stars top Senators

by Steve Hunt /

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars rallied from a slow start Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators to end their four-game losing streak.

The Senators led by two after 20 minutes, but the Stars (19-16-7) responded with four unanswered goals in the second period -- two from John Klingberg and one each from Trevor Daley and Erik Cole -- on their way to a 5-4 win at American Airlines Center.

"I felt something happened in the room here (during the first intermission)," Klingberg said. "We came together and said we have to have a better second period and put more shots on net. We had too many turnovers in the first period too high up on the blue line and in the corners. We came together in the second period a lot better."

Backup goaltender Anders Lindback made 34 saves in relief of starter Kari Lehtonen, who was pulled midway through the first period after allowing three goals on five shots.

"I didn't like the first two goals," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "I just thought [Lehtonen] has been struggling a little bit, and I'm not going to wait; just get it done. It's an early one, but we needed Lindback to step in.

"I don't think I've pulled a goalie that early before. It's just one of those things. It happened, and it worked out. Sometimes you're lucky as a coach."

The Senators (17-17-8), who got first-period goals from Mike Hoffman, Clarke MacArthur and Jared Cowen, cut the Stars lead to 5-4 early in the third when Milan Michalek beat Lindback off a rebound.

"Yeah, we had a great first and a great third. We controlled most of the play in those two periods," MacArthur said. "In the second, they got some odd-man rushes and they got some chances, and they scored on them. All in all, first and third are great and that second period, give up too many opportunities there."

Klingberg was one of five Stars with multiple points. Alex Goligoski and Travis Moen had two assists, and Cole and Ales Hemsky each had a goal and an assist.

"It's always nice to get a win," Hemsky said. "If we want to make the playoffs, we have to make a push. Every game now is important and every point is important."

Bobby Ryan and Mark Stone had two assists for the Senators.

Hoffman scored his 15th goal with a wrist shot from the right circle that went under Lehtonen's right shoulder 4:57 into the first period to put Ottawa up 1-0. Hoffman's seventh goal in 11 games came after Ryan chipped the puck to him from inside the Senators zone. Hoffman then raced up the right side of the ice before finishing.

Dallas nearly tied the game at 6:15 of the first period off a backhand by Shawn Horcoff from the slot. Horcoff's shot ended up behind Senators goaltender Robin Lehner, but defenseman Eric Gryba alertly cleared the puck before it crossed the goal line.

The Senators doubled their lead at 10:30 of the first when MacArthur scored a power-play goal, beating Lehtonen high to the far post from the right circle and chasing the Dallas goalie from the game.

The Stars answered at 16:08 when Hemsky beat Lehner to the far post with a low slap shot from the right circle for his seventh goal. Hemsky has a goal in three of his past four games.

Ottawa went back up by two goals when Cowen tapped in a rebound for his third goal with 2:05 remaining in the first. Lindback made a save on a wrist shot by Stone, but Cowen skated in from the slot, collected the puck and flipped it in from the left side of the Dallas net.

"Yeah, I thought we got some timely scoring in the first. Held onto pucks and made good plays," Senators coach Dave Cameron said.

Daley cut the Ottawa lead to 3-2 with his 10th goal 2:38 into the second period. His slap shot from near the Senators blue line beat Lehner to the far post. Lehner dropped to the ice late, and Daley's shot went top shelf over the Senators goalie's right shoulder.

Ottawa nearly regained its two-goal lead at 4:37 of the second, but Gryba's wrist shot from the slot hit the crossbar.

Dallas tied it at 8:42 of the second when Klingberg beat Lehner to the far post with a low wrist shot from the edge of the right circle. Colton Sceviour assisted with a cross-ice pass that Klingberg converted for his fifth goal.

Cole put the Stars on top for the first time in the game when he redirected a Goligoski slap shot from near the blue line for a power-play goal with 2:41 remaining in the second. Dallas was on the power play after Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson was called for interference on Stars captain Jamie Benn at 4:22.

Klingberg scored his second goal in the period nine seconds before the intermission, scoring off the rush for his sixth of the season.

"We started to get pucks deep and started to attack a little bit more," Lindback said. "We didn't let up any odd-man rushes. We just defended real well and executed and had a couple big goals by guys. It was a way better period than the first one."

The Senators made it a one-goal game again 6:00 into the third period when Michalek scored a power-play goal off a rebound.

Ryan started the sequence with a wrist shot from the high slot that was blocked by Goligoski. Lindback then denied a backhand by Alex Chiasson, but the rebound fell to Michalek, who quickly capitalized for his fifth goal.

"There was a great pushback (in the third period)," Cameron said. "That was a great response. Didn't get the result obviously, but they came out and there was a pushback, and that's all you could ask at that point."

Lehner made 24 saves.

"Yeah, boys played fine; I didn't," Lehner said. "(That was the) difference in the game. We lost."

The game was the first for Stars center Jason Spezza against the Senators, who he played for from 2002-14.

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