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Stars outlast Isles 5-4 in shootout

by Brian Compton
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Dallas Stars completed a two-game sweep in the New York metropolitan area on Saturday night -- and they did it the hard way.
After notching two assists in regulation, Mike Ribeiro scored the lone goal in the shootout as the Stars staved off the New York Islanders for a 5-4 victory at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Dallas, which won 4-3 in overtime at New Jersey on Friday night, heads home with a 2-0-0 record. The Stars host Detroit -- and former Dallas icon Mike Modano -- in their home opener on Thursday.

Kari Lehtonen made 43 saves in regulation and denied Frans Nielsen, PA Parenteau and Matt Moulson in the shootout. Rick DiPietro stopped Brad Richards and James Neal before Ribeiro deked twice and tucked a shot inside the post for the win.

The Islanders overcame deficits of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 to get to the shootout. They looked like they were down and out when Brenden Morrow made it 4-2 at 7:12 of the third period, but  Blake Comeau scored less than two minutes later to make it a one-goal game again. Moulson tied the game with the Isles' third power-play goal, beating Lehtonen with 2:39 remaining after Stephane Robidas received the first of two delay-of-game penalties for shooting the puck into the stands.

"I've never seen it … twice in a row," Robidas said, shaking his head. "Bad mistake by me. I just stopped moving my feet. Just a bad play by me. I put my team into trouble. Guys battled hard and we still ended up with two points. Totally my fault. There's no excuse for that."

After the Isles failed to cash in on two early power plays, Dallas scored on its first man advantage when Jamie Benn beat DiPietro at 9:52 of the first period. With Comeau in the box for boarding, Benn was left all alone in front of the net, where he slammed Brad Richards' rebound home as the Stars took a 1-0 lead.

Robidas doubled the Stars' lead just 2:07 later on a goal DiPietro clearly would want back. With the teams at even strength, Robidas took a pass from Richards and one-timed it from just inside the blue line and into the net to make it 2-0. Dallas took the lead into the first intermission despite being outshot 13-6.

James Wisniewski got the Islanders on the board with a power-play goal at 6:21 of the second period. Just six seconds after Toby Petersen went off for hooking, Wisniewski's one-timed Doug Weight's feed from the left point past Lehtonen for his first goal as an Islander after being acquired by Anaheim during the summer.

But the Stars regained the two-goal lead at 13:45, when Morrow notched his second goal in as many games. After a turnover in the Stars' zone by Parenteau, Ribeiro carried the puck into the Isles' end, made a nifty move around Wisniewski and fed Morrow for an easy one-timer.

"We seem to have some chemistry on that line," Morrow said. "We're a young group. Early in the season, you try to find your identity. To come out here and do it on the road and collect four points, it's big for us. It's something to build on."

Weight made it a one-goal game again when the Isles converted on a two-man advantage at 15:24 of the second. With Nicklas Grossman and Steve Ott both in the penalty box, Weight took a pass from Parenteau and fired a wrister from the right circle that went off Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins and past Lehtonen to make it 3-2.

Morrow got his second of the night after some miscommunication behind the Isles' net by DiPietro and Andrew MacDonald, redirecting a feed from Ribeiro past DiPietro.

Comeau finished off a dominant shift by the Islanders, who controlled the puck for more than a minute in the Dallas zone, when he took a pass from Radek Martinek and fired a slap shot from the slot past a stick-less Lehtonen at 8:45.

"We'll take the one point, but we're not satisfied," Comeau said. "We're not accepting mediocrity this year. We go out, we get a point and guys aren't happy. We want to get two points. We're not just happy with ties and one points."

The Islanders then tied it on the first of two delay-of-game penalties on Robidas. Moulson tied the game when he collected Nielsen's rebound and backhanded it past Lehtonen for his first goal of the season.

"I had a bunch of opportunities and didn't get the bounces today," said Moulson, who led the Islanders with 30 goals last season. "It was kind of sitting there."

The Isles also showed some grit in overtime as they were forced to play shorthanded when Comeau was hit with a cross-checking penalty just 29 seconds into the extra session. DiPietro finished with 18 saves.

"It was a little bit helter-skelter towards the end with the two pucks in the crowd," Dallas coach Marc Crawford said. "There's not always going to be masterpieces, but we found a way to do it tonight. Sometimes your goalie is going to bail you out, and he bailed us out tonight. He was very good in the shootout."

New York lost John Tavares late in the first period when he collided at center ice with Stars forward Adam Burish. Tavares, the No. 1 pick from the 2009 Entry Draft, will be re-evaluated on Monday.

"I bumped into somebody and I didn't know who it was," Burish said. "I was coming across the ice and I knew our guy was going to dump it. Tavares turned around as I was skating that way and I think we collided. I didn't know what happened. I turned around, as he was laying there. It was just an unfortunate thing. I for sure didn't mean to go after him in open ice. You hope he's OK."

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL

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