Bill Meltzer: Star Gazing: Dallas Downs Florida, Loses Lehtonen, Signs Eakin

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The Dallas Stars improved their preseason record to 4-1-0 with a comeback 5-4 regulation victory over the Florida Panthers at the American Airlines Center on Monday night. After the Stars fell behind by a 3-0 score, the team came alive to score five on the game’s next six goals.

A hat trick by top line center Tyler Seguin paced the Stars, who also got goals by Valeri Nichushkin (assisted by Seguin) and Jason Spezza.

Florida got goals from Rocco Grimaldi, Scottie Upshall, Quinton Howden and Colby Robak.

Dallas starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen had to leave the game early in the third period after stopping 13 of 16 shots. The big Finn sustained what was deemed a “mild concussion” after defenseman Jamie Oleksiak checked Florida forward Nick Bjugstad into him. The player will be out for at least several days even if, as reported, he has a Grade One concussion.

Anders Lindbäck came in to relieve Lehtonen and picked up the victory in goal, stopping seven of eight shots. Roberto Luongo was in goal for Florida.

Dallas’ lineup in last night’s game was as follows:

Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin

Erik Cole – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky

Antoine Roussel – Vernon Fiddler – Ryan Garbutt

Curtis McKenzie – Radek Faksa – Brett Ritchie

Kevin Connauton – Trevor Daley

Jordie Benn – Sergei Gonchar

Jamie Oleksiak – John Klingberg

Kari Lehtonen / Anders Lindback

The Stars return to action at the ACC tonight. The Tampa Bay Lightning, who handed the Stars their lone loss of the preseason, pay a visit to Big D. Game time is 7:30 p.m. CDT.

Earlier in the day yesterday, the Stars announced they had come to terms with restricted free agent center Cody Eakin on a two year contract. The deal, which carries a $1.9 million cap hit, pays $1.5 million in 2014-15 and $2.3 million next season. The Stars still have yet to get restricted free agent defenseman Brenden Dillon signed to a new contract but Stars general manager Jim Nill expressed optimism that a deal will be reached soon.

In other roster news, former first-round pick Scott Glennie cleared waivers yesterday and was assigned to the AHL’s Texas Stars along with defenseman Cameron Gaunce. Goaltender Jussi Rynnäs was placed on waivers yesterday for purposes of AHL assignment. If he clears today, he will be sent to Austin to join the Texas Stars. Rynnas’ AHL assignment means that, as expected,0 Lindbäck will back up Lehtonen to start the season.

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

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