Bill Meltzer: Star Gazing: Dallas Grabs Preseason Win in Sunrise

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The Dallas Stars improved their preseason record to 2-0-0 with a 4-3 shootout win over the Florida Panthers last night in Sunrise, FL. As with the preseason opener against St. Louis, the Stars led early, trailed in the third period and then came back to win. Ales Hemsky notched the only goal in the four-round shootout, while winning goalie Jussi Rynnäs denied all four shots he faced.

For Dallas, Patrick Eaves scored in regulation along with defensemen Kevin Connauton and Alex Goligoski. Florida scored consecutive goals by Shane O’Brien, Dave Bolland and Brandon Pirri before Goligoski’s tally forced overtime.

Jack Campbell got the start in goal for Dallas, playing the first 31:36 of the game. He was scarcely tested in stopping all 11 shots Florida mustered on his net. Rynnäs struggled early in yielding goals on three of the first five shots he faced but then stopped each of the next nine shots he saw in regulation in overtime before going four-for-four in the shootout.

In the shootout, Rynnäs successively denied Pirri, Jonathan Huberdeau, Nick Bjugstad and Bolland. Dallas’ Tyler Seguin, Eaves and Jamie Benn missed in the shootout before Hemsky beat Panthers goaltender Michael Houser to win the game.

The Stars controlled the majority of play in the first period, both in territorial possession and on the scoreboard. Dallas grabbed a 2-0 lead on a power play goal by Eaves and an even strength marker by Connauton. The Eaves goal was scored as he claimed a loose puck in the slot and snapped it home past starting Florida netminder Dan Ellis. Connauton scored off the rush to extend the lead to 2-0 with 5:04 remaining in the opening stanza.

The tide changed in the second period, as Dallas lost more battles than it won and was sloppy with and without the puck. Moments after Rynnäs came in to replace Campbell in goal, he was beaten on the first shot he faced. O’Brien snapped home a shot from the left circle.

The 2-1 Stars lead held until the final minute of the second period. With Florida on the power play, Bolland pounded a shot from above the right circle into the net at the 19:10 mark. The goal was the Panthers’ lone power play tally in eight opportunities on the man advantage over the course of the game.

Florida did not wait long to take a 3-2 lead in the third period. On a bang-bang chance off a right circle faceoff, Pirri scored as Vincent Trocheck cleanly won a faceoff back to him.

Thereafter, the Stars slowly recaptured the momentum. It started with a 5-on-3 penalty kill for 1:10 and continued through the rest of the game. At the 11:07 mark, Seguin took the puck in deep on the rush and found an open Goligoski, who snapped a shot into the net to tie the game at 3-3.

The Stars had several opportunities to win the game in regulation and overtime (Dallas otushot Florida by an 8-1 margin in the five-minute OT) but could not get another shot past replacement Florida goalie Houser. Finally, in the fourth round of the shootout, Hemsky end the game.

On the winning goal, Hemsky maneuvered around an unsuccessful pokecheck attempt by Houser. Transferring the puck to his backhand, Hemsky carefully deposited a shot into the cage.

Per the Stars’ official website, Dallas will practice today in Frisco. The team returns to preseason action tomorrow night in Tampa Bay against the Lightning.

The Stars’ starting lineup in last night’s game was as follows:

Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Ryan Garbutt

Curtis McKenzie – Travis Morin – Patrick Eaves

Gemel Smith – Justin Dowling – Ales Hemsky

Erik Cole – Radek Faksa – Matej Stransky

Alex Goligoski – Jyrki Jokipakka

Kevin Connauton – Jamie Oleksiak

Cameron Gaunce – Maxime Fortunus

Jack Campbell / Jussi Rynnäs

This post originally appeared on www.hockeybuzz.com and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.

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