DALLAS -- After there were no goals for nearly 40 minutes, David Krejci's goal in the waning moments of the second period set up a wild third period.
Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic each had a goal and an assist for the Boston Bruins, who got 32 saves from backup goaltender Chad Johnson in a 4-2 win against the Dallas Stars on Thursday at American Airlines Center.
"I thought it was a really hard-fought game," Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara said. "We had a couple of bad bounces again going against us, but we found a way to score some at the right time of the game. That got us a huge win."
Krejci's goal on a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle four seconds before the second intermission ended the scoreless deadlock. When Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski tried to clear the puck off the boards, the carom went to Lucic in the corner, and he quickly flipped it to Krejci, who scored his 10th goal with a shot that beat Kari Lehtonen over his blocker.
"You want to get out of that period," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought all we needed was a little better coverage and not allowing that pass out of the corner."
Dallas answered when Erik Cole scored on the power play 1:18 into the third, but Boston regained the lead when Brad Marchand put home his own rebound two minutes later.
Lucic put the Bruins ahead 3-1 with the eventual game-winner when he tipped in Krejci's shot on the power play at 15:46. It was his 13th goal.
Dallas cut it to 3-2 when captain Jamie Benn slipped in a rebound with 1:11 left, but Bergeron hit the empty net netter with 16 seconds remaining.
It appeared Boston took an early lead when Gregory Campbell put the puck in the net 3:31 into the first period. However, video review determined Campbell used a distinct kicking motion to knock the puck in after Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley failed to clear the puck.
During a first-period stoppage, a message on the scoreboard thanked Boston right wing Loui Eriksson, who was traded to the Bruins in the offseason in the deal that brought Tyler Seguin to the Stars, for his years with Dallas. The former fan favorite garnered huge applause from the crowd.
"I missed it actually because we had to talk to the coach there during that intermission," Eriksson said. "I heard it was nice. I heard the cheers and everything, so it was nice to hear."
Lehtonen made a pair of big saves in the first period. He robbed Boston's Torey Krug with a glove save on a blistering slap shot from the left circle at 4:29, then denied Marchand on a breakaway at 14:15.
"He was really good," Lucic said of Lehtonen. "We get the late goal in the second period, but before that it seemed like it was going to be a tough night to beat him, and it was. Fortunately, we were able to find a way to beat him, especially when he was on his game tonight."
Chara inadvertently poked Johnson in the eye at 12:28 of the second period, drawing blood under the goalie's left eye. However, after a member of the Boston training staff tended to him, Johnson was able to remain in the game.
"I didn't know how serious it was, but he just came back," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Johnson's injury. "He's got that little cut there on the side of his eye. He was good tonight. I thought he played a real solid game and was square to the puck all night long -- good outing for him.
Cole tied it early in the second on a fortuitous power-play goal from the left circle. He had been pushed to the ice by Chara in front of the Boston net, and as he was getting up, a pass from Seguin deflected off his stick for his 13th goal.
The Stars went 1-for-6 on the power play. Boston was 1-for-4.
"We still had too many turnovers, giving up too many odd-man rushes," Dallas center Vernon Fiddler said.
Marchand scored a rather soft goal on Lehtonen to put Boston ahead for good. After Bergeron was able to poke the puck away from Cole in the corner, Marchand skated in from the right side. Lehtonen denied Marchand's initial effort, but the Boston agitator was able to tap in his own rebound for his 12th goal.
Lehtonen, who stopped 37 shots, left the game with 1:13 remaining in favor of a sixth attacker, but the Stars were unable to score before Bergeron's empty-netter.
Dallas finished its three-game homestand 1-2-0.
"We made mistakes," Ruff said. "We lost some wall battles that led to a couple of goals."