The Florida Panthers took a 2-0 lead but couldn't hold on, allowing the Dallas Stars to rally for four unanswered goals to take a 4-2 decision at the BB&T Center on Saturday night.
After a wicked fast paced first period which would see a lot of scoring chances but only 13 total shots on goal, the Panthers opened the scoring just 59 seconds into the middle frame.
Aleksander Barkov broke the seal on a sweetly placed cross-ice pass from Jonathan Huberdeau. The goal was initially called off due to "goalie interference," but coach Gerald Gallant used his challenge to ultimately overturn the referee's initial waveoff. It was Barkov's third goal of the season, and Jaromir Jagr earned the secondary assist for his team-leading seventh point.
Just over a minute later, Brandon Pirri broke in behind Dallas' defense and beat Kari Lehtonen through the five-hole before sliding hard into the boards. It was Pirri's first of the season, with assists from Reilly Smith and Alex Petrovic. Smith sprung Pirri after collecting a long, slow pass from Petro that somehow eluded a Dallas defender at the other end.
At the 6:31 mark, Dallas halved the lead when Patrick Sharp found Tyler Seguin inside the blue line for a low wrister past Roberto Luongo's left pad. Seguin looked offsides, but the Panthers had already used their challenge restoring Barkov's marker. According to the Cats' broadcast team, the goal was indeed a good one, so the zebras didn't blow the call.
A minute into the third, Dallas took advantage of a four-on-three power play opportunity to knot the score at two when Jamie Benn tipped home his fourth marker of the season. Assists were earned on the play by Seguin and noted Panther-killer Jason Spezza.
Seguin scored his third of the season with just over three minutes remaining in regulation, negating Florida's possible first look at the new three-on-three overtime. He tipped the puck past a sprawling Luongo with assists going to defensman John Klingberg and Benn.
Dallas added an empty netter with 18.6 seconds remaining when Jamie Benn scraped the puck home from center ice. It was his second of the night and fifth on the season.
Luongo finished with 33 saves and saw his record drop to 2-2. Lehtonen made 24 stops and raised his record to a perfect 3-0.
Keep LBC bookmarked as we try to shake this one off and gear up to host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night. For the other side of Florida's first home loss, mosey over to Defending Big D.