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Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn help Stars rally past Panthers

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn came up big Saturday, fueling a rally that carried the Dallas Stars to a 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center.

The Stars, who fell behind 2-0 when Florida scored two goals in just over a minute early in the second period, rattled off four straight goals – two by Seguin and two by Benn - to secure their third straight victory and improve to 4-1-0 on the season.

“We got a little ticked off and just started to play our game,” said Benn. “We took our game to a higher level and tried to take over the game. I thought we obviously did that.”

The Stars were down 2-1 heading into the third, but Seguin set up a power play goal by Benn to tie the game 50 seconds into the period. Seguin put the Stars ahead 3-2 with 3:02 left when he tipped in a John Klingberg shot. Benn sealed the win with an empty-net goal after Seguin blocked a shot with Florida’s net empty and an extra Panther attacker on the ice.

“Pretty gritty, greasy,” said Seguin. “I thought the boys worked hard; we played a full 60 minutes. Everyone is happy with that win.”

Seguin led the offensive charge for the Stars, scoring two goals and assisting on two others. Benn had two goals and one assist. Patrick Sharp picked up his first points as a Star, registering two assists. Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 of 24 shots for his third consecutive win.

The Panthers, who had surrendered just five goals in their first four games, fell to 3-2-0 on the season.

“We let them back in,” Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. “We turned some pucks over and let them get back in it. For most of the game, they were the better team. They deserved to win. It’s tough to lose with three minutes to go on a turnover play.”

There was no scoring in the first period, but Florida struck twice early in the second to take a 2-0 lead. An Aleksander Barkov goal 59 seconds into the second was initially waved off for goalie interference, but Florida challenged the call, and it was overturned.

“I looked at it later, and it probably does have to count,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “It was a good move on their part to use the challenge.”

A little more than a minute later, Stars defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka tried to keep the puck in the Florida zone, but it got past him, and the result was a breakaway for Brandon Pirri, who scored at the 2:03 mark to make it a 2-0 game.

The Stars finally got on the board when Sharp set up Seguin, who broke in alone on net and beat Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo with a wrist shot to make it a 2-1 game at 6:31 of the second. The Stars dominated play the rest of the period, helping set the stage for the third-period rally and Seguin’s game-winner late in regulation.

“Give them some credit, they were big, and we had to push through it,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “The last 40 minutes we did a real good job of getting inside, getting some good puck control and a lot of time inside the offensive zone. … It was tight, and it wasn’t the prettiest goal that went in. But you’ve got to find ways to win.”


Faksa debut

Radek Faksa made his NHL debut Saturday night. The 21-year-old Faksa, Dallas’ first-round pick (13th overall) in 2012, centered a line with Antoine Roussel and Colton Sceviour on his wings. He played 11:38, had no points, one shot on goal and won three of six faceoffs.

“I think he played very well. He had a chance to score on his first shift,” Ruff said. “I loved the way he played, I love the way he competed. For a first NHL game, I thought he did a heck of a job.”


Notes

*The Stars outshot Florida 37-24, including, 32-16 over the final two periods.

*Jason Spezza led the Stars with six shots on goal. Tyler Seguin had five.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn extended his points streak to five games (five goals, three assists).

*Benn has four goals over the past three games.

*Seguin has three goals over the past two games.

*The Stars were 1-2 on the power play and 1-1 on the penalty kill.

*The Stars have scored on the power play in four of their five games and are 6-18 (33.3 percent) on the power play this season.

*The Stars have not allowed a power-play goal in four of their five games and are 9-11 (81.8 percent) on the penalty kill.

*The Stars won 28 of 55 faceoffs (51 percent).

*Seguin won 9 of 13 faceoffs (69 percent). Spezza won 5 of 7 (71 percent). Cody Eakin won 5 of 12 (42 percent). Jamie Benn won 4 of 8 (50 percent). Vernon Fiddler won 2 of 8 (25 percent). Radek Faksa won 3 of 6 (50 percent).

*John Klingberg led the Stars with 25:36 of ice time. Alex Goligoski was next with 25:03.


What’s next

The Stars have Sunday off. They continue their road trip Tuesday, taking on the Philadelphia Flyers in a nationally televised game.


Stars lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Sharp

Vernon FiddlerJason SpezzaValeri Nichushkin

Mattias JanmarkCody EakinAles Hemsky

Antoine RousselRadek FaksaColton Sceviour


Alex Goligoski
John Klingberg

Johnny OduyaJason Demers

Jyrki JokipakkaJordie Benn


Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi


Scratched:
Jamie Oleksiak, Patrik Nemeth

Injured: Travis Moen (upper body), Curtis McKenzie (lower body), Patrick Eaves (lower body)

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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