NHL Game Summary - Florida at Dallas
(Saturday, March 28th)
Final Score: Florida 6, Dallas 3
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Cory Stillman finished with a goal and two assists, as the Florida Panthers picked up crucial ground in the playoff race with a 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars.
Nathan Horton, Radek Dvorak, Stephen Weiss and Jay Bouwmeester each had a goal and an assist for Florida, which has won two in a row after dropping seven of eight. Kamil Kreps also scored, and Craig Anderson stopped 32 shots.
With the win, the Panthers moved within one point of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Florida now has 85 points, while Montreal has 86 after losing in a shootout to Buffalo earlier Saturday.
Mike Ribeiro had a goal and assist for Dallas, which continued to fall out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference. The Stars have lost six in a row and are stuck at 75 points, six behind eighth-place Edmonton.
Chris Conner and Matt Niskanen also scored for Dallas, while Marty Turco made 27 saves.
"I think everyone saw the outcome of the game and it's not acceptable," Ribeiro said. "We cannot find an excuse. It's our fault and that's what happens when you don't play as a team."
Florida took control with three consecutive goals, the first two coming late in the second period. With one minute remaining, Weiss snapped in a shot from the right side to tie the game at two. Then, with seven ticks left, Horton gathered a rebound on the left side of the net, and flicked a narrow-angle shot past Turco.
Only 58 seconds into the third period, Kreps made it a 4-2 game. Ville Peltonen fed a pass to Kreps as he raced across the blue line, and Kreps charged through the Dallas defense, backhanding the puck past Turco.
The Stars got back within one with 7:33 remaining, on Conner's delayed shot over Anderson, but with 4:54 left, Bouwmeester scored on the power play to give Florida the two-goal cushion again. Dvorak added an empty-netter in the final minute to seal the win.
"We seem to do a lot of good things early, getting leads and dictating play, but then we get away from our game," Niskanen said. "We have to change that now. We don't have time to fiddle-faddle around."
Ribeiro got Dallas on the board just 4:23 into the game, but Stillman evened the game on the man advantage 8:04 into the second period. But less than two minutes later, Niskanen's tally put the Stars in front, 2-1.
Florida was 2-for-4 on the power play, while Dallas went 0-for-3...Each team won one game in the season series...The Stars play in Phoenix on Monday...The Panthers host Ottawa on Tuesday.
03/29 00:07:58 ET