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Stars fall to the Panthers in season opener

In a disappointing turn of events, the Dallas Stars lost their home season opener to the Florida Panthers with a final score of 4-2.

The game started with a lot of hype on behalf of the Stars, coming out of a summer of big changes and a great preseason, ready to break the franchise-worst record of five consecutive seasons missing the playoffs. Both teams started the first period strong out of the gate. There were plenty of penalties throughout the first, including a two big fights that ended with Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt getting game misconducts along with the Panthers’ Dmitry Kulikov. It wasn’t until 17 minutes and 41 seconds in that Stars’ goalie Kari Lehtonen let in the first goal to Scott Gomez assisted by Scottie Upshall and Brian Campbell. The first period ended with the Panthers leading 1-0 and also leading the game in shots on goal 12-9.

The second period started off back and forth between both teams, fighting for the puck and shots. Kris Versteeg of the Panthers got an early penalty 4 minutes into the period, a 2 minute minor for tripping Shawn Horcoff. The Stars then dominated the ice, with a backhanded goal scored 7 minutes and 25 seconds in by the Stars’ right wing Alex Chiasson, assisted by Ray Whitney and Brenden Dillon. Chiasson got a 2 minute penalty soon after for cross checking Jonathan Huberdeau. The period ended with a tied score of 1-1 and the Panthers once again getting more shots on goal, 12-10.

Ray Whitney #13, Brenden Dillon #4 and the Dallas Stars celebrate a goal against the Florida Panthers in the home opener at the American Airlines Center.  (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
Ray Whitney #13, Brenden Dillon #4 and the Dallas Stars celebrate a goal against the Florida Panthers in the home opener at the American Airlines Center.
(Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

The third period once again started with both teams coming out strong and the Stars’ center Cody Eakin winning the first faceoff. The third period was back and forth for a while, with the Panthers mostly dominating the puck. Five and a half minutes into the period, Marcel Goc picked up a 2 minute penalty for high sticking Shawn Horcoff. The Stars did well on the powerplay until Erik Cole picked up a 2 minute penalty of his own for interference on Mike Weaver. The Panthers won the next faceoff and Tom Gilbert got a shot on goal before defenseman Brenden Dillon scored a shorthanded goal with a snap shot, assisted by Vernon Fiddler and Antoine Roussel. The Stars lead was short lived, as Florida center Aleksander Barkov got one past Kari Lehtonen, making him the youngest person to ever score a goal in the NHL. The tie was broken five minutes later by Marcel Goc’s snap shot, assisted by Tom Gilbert and Jonathan Huberdeau.  Things went from bad to worse for Dallas when they pulled Kari Lehtonen to get the extra attacker as Marcel Goc swooped in and got an unassisted goal, sealing the deal for a 4-2 victory for the Panthers.

Overall, the Stars let the Panthers dominate the ice way more than they should have and allowed a lot of shots on goal. Next time, they’ll need to make sure they secure the puck and up their defense so they don’t let so many shots get by. Brenden Dillon was definitely the star player for Dallas, ending the game with a shorthanded goal, an assist, and finished the game as a +1.

The next Stars game will be Saturday, October 5 vs. the Washington Capitals. You can catch the game on KTXA and CSMA.


Brendon Carlton

Brendon Carlton

21 year old aspiring film director/producer, writer, and lifelong fan of hockey and the Dallas Stars. Dallas Stars contributor for Hooked on Hockey Magazine
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