DALLAS (AP) — Stars coach Jim Montgomery had the right answer for Florida’s top-10 offense on Tuesday night.
Montgomery countered the Panthers’ firepower with some of his own, reuniting Dallas’ three top scorers on the same line, and Alexander Radulov got two goals in the third period to send the Stars to a 4-2 victory.
“I didn’t like the first 7 minutes,” Montgomery said. “We were sleepy. I just put Jamie (Benn) out there one shift with (Radulov) and (Tyler Seguin).
“Initially, we had (Radek) Faksa’s line going out against (Florida’s top line). Then when I saw our top line get going, I said I was just going to let them go head-to-head.
“They had that first goal which was really pretty, and I said, ‘There’s something there tonight.'”
That first goal, by Benn, tied the game 1-all at 17:49 of the first period.
In addition to Radulov’s two goals and an assist, Benn had a goal and two assists and Seguin assisted on all four Dallas goals.
“Monty doesn’t really say anything,” Seguin said, “but we know that when we are together, we need to produce.”
Despite having the third-fewest goals in the NHL, the Stars remained in position for the first Western Conference wild card and stayed within two points of third-place St. Louis in the Central Division.
Midway through the third period, Seguin reached up to keep the puck inside the blue line and passed to Benn for a 2-on-1 break. Benn passed across to Radulov, who beat Panthers rookie goalie Sam Montembeault with a snap shot to make it 3-2.
Montembeault made 32 saves.
“The third goal was a turnover,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said, “and as a result, it ended up in the back of our net.”
Radulov was awarded an empty-netter, his 24th goal of the season, because a Florida player threw his stick at the puck.
John Klingberg scored on a power play in the second period to give Dallas a 2-1 lead.
Stars goalie Ben Bishop extended his winning streak to six games, but his franchise-record scoreless streak ended at 2:33:04 when Florida scored 2:11 into the first period.
Aleksander Barkov deflected Jonathan Huberdeau’s shot from the right-side boards over the goalie.
“I think it went off Faksa’s stick, Barkov, and maybe off Esa (Lindell),” Bishop said.
Barkov added a power-play goal that tied the game at 2 late in the second period.
Bishop finished with 20 saves. His shutout streak was the 24th-longest in NHL history.
“It’s not something you’re striving for,” he said, “but a great honor to have obviously some great names on that list. To be able to pass Ed Belfour is really great for me. He was my goalie coach for a little bit in Peoria. Somebody I grew up idolizing.”
Klingberg had given Dallas a lead for the first time in three games at 10:38 of the second. It was the Stars’ first power-play goal in four games and only the second in the past 19 opportunities.
Barkov made it 2-all at 16:57 of the second. His wrist shot inside the left post came against a Dallas penalty-killing unit that had been successful on 20 of the previous 21 opportunities. The Stars rank second in fewest goals allowed.
Barkov was more concerned about his line’s defense.
“We made a couple of bad mistakes that led to goals,” he said. “We can’t afford to make those types of mistakes against that type of team.”
NOTES: Barkov has 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in a seven-game scoring streak. The 23-year-old has career highs of 32 goals, 53 assists and 85 points. … Huberdeau has five points (one goal, four assists) in the past three games. … Stars C Jason Spezza was a healthy scratch for only the second time in his 16-year career. … Seguin’s assists increased his season total to 42. He has reached 40 five times in nine NHL seasons. In the past nine games, he has not scored a goal but has 10 assists.
Panthers: Begin a two-game homestand Thursday against Arizona.
Stars: Play the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday in the third of a five-game homestand.
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