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.
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.
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