Stars down Panthers 4-1

The Dallas Stars improved to 5-1-0 on the season with a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers Thursday night.

Tom Wandell scored two goals, Steve Ott and James Neal scored once and Jamie Benn had three assists. Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves for the Stars.

The Stars, who had been struggling on the penalty kill, were 3-3 in this game. And for the first time this season they had more shots on goal than their opponent, outshooting Florida 29-28.

Lehtonen lost his shutout bid late in the game when Stephen Weiss tallied with 3:06 to make it a 4-1 game.

The Stars now head home, where they will play their next six games at American Airlines Center.

Second period

The Stars extended their lead over the Florida Panthers in the second period, scoring two more times to take a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.

Not long after the Stars killed off Florida’s third power play of the game, James Neal scored off the rush to make it a 3-0 game at 8:09 of the second period.

After scoring with just 21 seconds left in the first period, Tom Wandell scored with just 34 seconds left in the second period to give the Stars a 4-0 lead. Wandell got the puck in the neutral zone, skated down the left wing, circled behind the net and then beat Panthers goalie Tomas Voukoun with a shot from the right circle.

Some notes after two periods.

  • The Stars hold a 23-19 shots advantage through two periods.

  • The Stars are 3-3 on the penalty kill and 0-1 on the power play in the game.

  • Tom Wandell has two goals in the game.

  • Jamie Benn has three assists in the game.

  • Benn, Wandell and Steve Ott all are a plus-three in the game.

  • The Stars are 15-38 on faceoffs through two periods.

First period

The Dallas Stars lead the Florida Panthers 2-0 after one period behind goals by Steve Ott and Tom Wandell and 13 saves from Kari Lehtonen.

The Stars’ struggling penalty kill came up big early in the period, killing off two Florida power play chances.

The Stars then struck for two goals late in the period and both produced by the line of Jamie Benn, who was back in the lineup after missing three games due to concussion like symptoms.

The first one came with 3:04 left in the period. After Steve Ott won a defensive zone draw, Benn headed up the ice on the rush, put shot on net from the left circle and Ott scored on the rebound to make it a 1-0 game.

Later in the period, a line of Ott, Benn and Tom Wandell kept the Panthers pinned down in their own zone and Wandell scored off the rebound of a Karlis Skrastins shot from the left point with 21 seconds left in the period to make it a 2-0 game.

Some notes from the first period.

  • The Stars outshot Florida 14-13 in the period. The 14 shots for Dallas are just 5 short of their total for Monday’s entire game in Tampa Bay.

  • The Stars were 2-2 on the penalty kill and they had no power play chances.

  • The Stars won 10 of 17 faceoffs in the period.

  • Jamie Benn assisted on both Dallas goals.

  • The Stars picked up their first fighting major of the season and it went to Adam Burish. He went after Panthers defenseman Dennis Wideman, who had gotten his elbow up on a hit on Mike Ribeiro. Burish picked up an instigator, fighting major and a ten minute misconduct.