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Florida at Dallas

Playoff-chasing Panthers double up struggling Stars

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DALLAS -- With a difficult three-game trip behind them, the Florida Panthers hope to benefit from a favorable home schedule in the final two weeks of the season.

Stephen Weiss and Nathan Horton each scored in the final minute of the second period, and the Panthers beat the reeling Dallas Stars 6-3 Saturday.

The Panthers, who play four of their final six games at home, moved within a point of Montreal for eighth place in the Eastern Conference after completing a 2-1 road trip.

Florida opens a three-game homestand Tuesday. The first two games are against Ottawa and Atlanta, clubs on the outside of the playoff picture.

"We wanted to get two of three on this trip, and we got them," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "We've got three home games and we've got to take care of business. Hopefully at the end of the day we'll look up and be in."

Florida's road trip got off a rocky start when the Panthers blew a two-goal lead in the third in a loss to Buffalo on Wednesday.

DeBoer decided to start backup goalie Craig Anderson in place of Tomas Vokoun, and Anderson responded with 40 saves in a 4-2 victory over Philadelphia on Thursday.

After stopping 14 Stars shots in the first to keep the game close, Anderson finished with 32 saves to help the Panthers continue a push for their first playoff appearance since 2000.

"I knew I was putting him in a tough situation," DeBoer said. "He's shown his character. I think the guys see that and have responded for him."

The Stars have lost six straight (0-5-1) and have slipped six points out of the eighth in the West with seven games remaining.

Mike Ribeiro, who had a hat trick against Florida on Jan. 21, had a goal and assist. Marty Turco stopped 27 shots for the Stars.

One season after falling two wins shy of the Stanley Cup Finals, Dallas is in danger of missing the playoffs for just the second time in 12 seasons.

"There's no time to wait around and see what other teams are going to do," defenseman Matt Niskanen said. "All we can control is how we play and start winning games."

Weiss took a pass on the right side and beat Turco to tie it at 2 with 59.5 seconds remaining in the second.

On a scramble in front, Horton flipped a shot over the sprawling Turco to give the Panthers the lead with 6.2 seconds left.

Florida added to its cushion in the opening minute of the third. Kamil Kreps scored on a backhander from the slot to put the Panthers on top 4-2.

"Dallas had the momentum basically for the first half of the game," Anderson said. "But we slowly took it over. When you string a couple together, it takes the wind out of the other team's sails."

After Chris Conner's goal brought the Stars within 4-3, Jay Bouwmeester had a power-play tally, and Radek Dvorak scored an empty-net goal.

"We'd gone through a bit of a down stretch, so this was big," Bouwmeester said. "With six games left, we have to basically win all of them to control our own destiny."

Ribeiro picked up a loose puck and lifted it over Anderson's shoulder for a 1-0 lead at 4:23 of the first. It was Ribeiro's 20th goal of the season, the third time in his career he's hit the mark.

Cory Stillman, who had a goal and two assists, tied it 1-1 in the second period before the Stars regained the lead.

Ribeiro dropped a cross-ice pass to Niskanen, who drove in a one-timer from the top of the left circle at 9:41 to give the Stars a 2-1 edge.

Notes

  • Stars D Trevor Daley (lower body injury) didn't play, snapping his streak of 157 games.
  • Dallas D Mark Fistric (upper body injury) left after the first period and didn't return.
  • The Panthers hadn't played in Dallas since Dec. 7, 2005.
  • Stillman scored his 250th NHL goal.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Backup Craig Anderson comes up with big saves at key times to win his second straight start. (Getty Images)
Backup Craig Anderson comes up with big saves at key times to win his second straight start. (Getty Images)
Related Links
 
Scoreboard
Florida  (37-28-11) «0336
Dallas (33-33-9)1113
Three Stars
C. Stillman
FLA


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
S. Weiss
FLA


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Ribeiro
DAL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:23Mike Ribeiro (20), Snap Shot. Assist: Ott, Eriksson
2ND PERIOD
08:04Power Play - Cory Stillman (16), Tip-In. Assist: Weiss, Horton
09:41Matt Niskanen (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Ribeiro
19:00Stephen Weiss (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Frolik, Bouwmeester
19:53Nathan Horton (20), Wrist Shot. Assist: Dvorak, Stillman
3RD PERIOD
58.0Kamil Kreps (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Peltonen
12:27Chris Conner (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Grossman, Morrison
15:06Power Play - Jay Bouwmeester (15), Wrist Shot. Assist: Boynton, Stillman
19:38Short - Radek Dvorak (14), Empty Net, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
08:04McCabe, 2 min, Slashing
2ND PERIOD
03:06Lundqvist, 2 min, Holding the Stick
07:04Wandell, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
03:29Peltonen, 2 min, High-Sticking
03:29Ribeiro, 2 min, Diving/Embellishment
11:13Ott, 5 min, Charging
11:13McCabe, 2 min, Roughing
19:22Weiss, 2 min, Tripping
19:38Campbell, 2 min, High-Sticking
19:38Campbell, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
19:38Ott, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Shots On Goal
 123T
Florida5151333
Dallas1511935
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Craig Anderson60:00323
Marty Turco58:39275
Game Information
Attendance - 18532
Referees - Dennis LaRue, Ian Walsh
Linesmen - Brad Kovachik, Don Henderson
 
Other Games
Ott 3 Final
Atl 6
Buf 4 Final
Mon 3
Pho 2 Final
SJ 3
Phi 4 Final
NYI 3
Colu 3 Final
StL 4
Min 2 Final
Cal 3
Car 2 Final
NJ 1
LA 3 Final
OT
Nash 4
Bos 7 Final
Tor 5
NYR 3 Final
Pitt 4