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RECAP: Jonathan Huberdeau’s two goals lead Florida Panthers past Dallas Stars

Mar 28, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger (60) and defenseman Gustav Forsling (42) defend against Dallas Stars left wing Roope Hintz (24) during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and had an assist Sunday to lead Florida to a 4-1 win over the host Dallas Stars in a game marred by an injury to Panthers’ No. 1 defenseman Aaron Ekblad.

The No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 draft, Ekblad fell after being tangled up near the end boards with Dallas defenseman Esa Lindell in the Florida offensive zone at 8:58 of the second period.

After about 10 minutes, Ekblad was stretchered off the ice.

Huberdeau’s tallies gave him 18 points – seven goals and 11 assists – in 16 career games against Dallas. He assisted on Owen Tippett’s empty-net goal with 1:05 left in regulation.

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Anthony Duclair scored on a penalty shot, and Chris Driedger stopped 33 of 34 shots to win for the second time in six starts (2-3-1).

Rookie Jason Robertson tallied for the Stars, and Jake Oettinger allowed three goals on 22 shots and fell to 0-2-0 against Florida.

In the fifth meeting between the Central Division foes, the play was fast early as the clubs put three tallies on the board in a span of 1:56. The Stars scored first when Roope Hintz sent a shot that Robertson redirected in for his sixth goal on their first power play.

However, Florida notched a pair in 86 seconds to take a 2-1 lead, with Huberdeau and Duclair scoring to push the Panthers to their first advantage.

Huberdeau’s sly steal of a pass on the half boards led to the left winger charging in and roofing a shot high over Oettinger on the stick side. Soon after, Duclair was fouled by Andrew Cogliano on a breakaway, resulting in a penalty shot.

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Goalless on three career penalty shots, Duclair skated in wide from the right and rang a forehander in on his first penalty-shot attempt since 2018. Seven minutes later, Huberdeau wristed in his 13th goal on Florida’s second man advantage for a 3-1 lead.

Driedger made 27 saves over the final two periods, including a breakaway by Hintz at 7:08 of the third, to improve to 9-4-2.

–Field Level Media