The Panthers followed up a tough 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild with a trip directly to the American Airlines Center to face the Stars. The Panthers got shut out, 2-0 on 37 shots by Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen.
Scottie Upshall, Erik Gudbranson, Aaron Ekblad, Tomas Fleischmann and Dave Bolland all finished with four shots on goal, so the game wasn't lost for lack of trying. This was also reflected by the Panthers PDO, or puck luck, of 92.9. Anything below 100 is considered a bad-luck game for the team, and is calculated by adding the teams' shooting percentage and their save percentage.
The Stars didn't take long to stake their claim on the lead, as Jamie Benn lit the lamp for the 19th time this season at the 9:27 mark of the first period. The Panthers were enjoying a four minute man-advantage for a Patrick Eaves double-minor high-sticking on Shawn Thornton. Vernon Fiddler started a fast break and a Dallas two-on-zero chance against Panthers’ backup Al Montoya. Fiddler slid the puck across the ice to a streaking Jamie Benn (19) for a 1-0 lead.
Dallas doubled their lead and provided the final margin of victory with less than three minutes left in the first period, when Jason Spezza (11) took advantage of a blown zone clear by Florida with a wrister past Montoya. Erik Cole and Jason Demers earned the helpers on the play.
Florida struggled valiantly in the second and third period to close the gap, outshooting Dallas 28-to-21. The Panthers also out-hit the Stars, 20-to-13, led by Dmitry Kulikov’s four.
The Panthers will head home for a quick one-game stand against the St. Louis Blues before heading back out for a five-game road-trip.