The Dallas Stars improved to 5-1-0 in the preseason with a 7-1 rout of the Florida Panthers Thursday night at American Airlines Center. Mike Ribeiro had six points (one goal, five assists) and Alex Goligoski had four points (one goal, three assists). Stephane Robidas, Vernon Fiddler, Loui Eriksson, Trevor Daley and Tom Wandell also scored goals for the Stars.
"Our power play did well, our goaltending was once again strong when we needed it and it happened to go in when I gave the puck," said Ribeiro, who now has 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) in four preseason games. "It's easier to give the puck than score."
Kari Lehtonen played the first 40 minutes and stopped 22 of 23 shots. Richard Bachman played the final period and stopped all four shots he faced.
Lehtonen came up big in the first period for the Stars, stopping all 12 shots he faced including breakaways by Kris Versteeg and Jack Skille.
"Huge," said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. "We had a shootout practice the other day and Kari didn't let one in. From a coaching perspective that makes you feel pretty good."
The Stars opened the scoring 1:34 into the second when Steve Ott sent a pass from the goal line to Ribeiro, who beat Jose Theodore with a shot from the left circle.
Florida bounced back at the 9:01 mark of the second, scoring just after a five-on-three power play expired when Jonathan Huberdeau scored from close range to make it a 1-1 game.
The Stars regained the lead just 30 seconds later when Alex Goligoski’s shot from the left point deflected off traffic and past Theodore.
The Stars made it a 3-1 game when Robidas scored on a Dallas’ first power play, taking a pass from Ribeiro and scoring off a one-timer from the high slot with 2:30 left in the second.
Eriksson scored 6:39 into the third period to make it a 4-1 game, taking a pass from Vernon Fiddler and beating Theodore with a shot from the slot.
The Stars kept pouring it on. Fiddler knocked home the rebound of a Michael Ryder shot to make it a 5-1 game. Trevor Daley scored on a blast from the point with the Stars on the five-on-three to make it a 6-1 score.
Tom Wandell scored with just over a minute to go to make it a 7-1 game.
Eriksson dinged up
Stars forward Loui Eriksson left the game midway through the third period after taking a hit from Florida defenseman Keaton Ellerby. Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said Eriksson appeared fine after the game.
"I hope he is OK," said Gulutzan. "I talked to him after and he said I'm fine. Probably a little bit a combination of the wind and a little bit of a bruise on the leg. He seemed pretty fine after the game."
"Everybody is buying in and doing the right things. It's translating. We've got great goaltending and defensively we've been pretty good." - Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski
*Kari Lehtonen has stopped 92 of 97 shots this preseason. That's a save percentage of 94.8.
*Alex Goligoski was a plus-five on the night. Mike Ribeiro was a plus-four
*The Stars were 2-4 on the power play in the game.
*The Stars were 2-3 on the penalty kill.
*Tom Wandell led the Stars with six shots on goal.
*Nicklas Grossman led Dallas with seven hits. Philip Larsen was next with six hits.