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Ekblad, Yandle lift Panthers over struggling Stars 3-1

Dallas Stars left wing Roope Hintz (24) passes the puck as Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (5) defends during the third period of an NHL hock...
Dallas Stars center Joe Pavelski (16) goes for the puck as Florida Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas (7) defends during the third period of an NHL hocke...
Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger celebrates after an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Sunrise, Fla. The P...
Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin, left, defends a shot on the goal by Florida Panthers left wing Anthony Duclair (91) during the second period o...
Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle (3) celebrates with left wing Anthony Duclair (91) and center Carter Verhaeghe (23) after scoring a goal duri...
Dallas Stars left wing Roope Hintz (24) walks off after falling to the ice during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers,...
Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger (60) stops the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Monday, Feb. 22...

Dallas Stars left wing Roope Hintz (24) passes the puck as Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (5) defends during the third period of an NHL hock...

Dallas Stars center Joe Pavelski (16) goes for the puck as Florida Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas (7) defends during the third period of an NHL hocke...

Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger celebrates after an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Sunrise, Fla. The P...

Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin, left, defends a shot on the goal by Florida Panthers left wing Anthony Duclair (91) during the second period o...

Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle (3) celebrates with left wing Anthony Duclair (91) and center Carter Verhaeghe (23) after scoring a goal duri...

Dallas Stars left wing Roope Hintz (24) walks off after falling to the ice during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers,...

Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger (60) stops the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Monday, Feb. 22...

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle scored, Chris Driedger made 24 saves and the Florida Panthers beat the slumping, rusty Dallas Stars 3-1 on Monday night.

Aleksander Barkov scored an empty-net goal to seal the Panthers' sixth win in eight games.

Blake Comeau scored for Dallas, and Anton Khudobin stopped 49 of 51 shots. The Stars lost their sixth in a row and eighth of nine overall while playing their first game since Feb. 13 due to the weather conditions in Dallas.

The Stars' season was twice interrupted — first by a coronavirus outbreak in training camp and then by last week’s winter storm in Texas.

Dallas was supposed to open the season at Florida for two games and then at Tampa Bay for two more, but close to 20 COVID-19 positive cases prompted the postponement of those games. This week, the Stars were scheduled to host the Lightning on Thursday and Saturday, but those games were called off because of power outages in the Dallas area.

Trailing 1-0, the Panthers picked up the pace in a furious second period with a franchise-record 29 shots on goal, while the Stars only managed five.

Ekblad tied it at 1 at 8:41 of the second. Ekblad has six goals, tied with Jeff Petry (Montreal) and Darnell Nurse (Edmonton) for most goals by defensemen this season.

Yandle put the Panthers ahead 2-1 on his shot from the point with 1:42 left in the second.

Comeau gave the Stars a 1-0 lead when he poked in a loose puck at 4:29 of the first. Jason Robertson stretched his scoring streak to five games with an assist on the goal.

NOTES

Dallas' Mark Pysyk spent the past four seasons with Florida, playing 292 games for the Panthers, and returned for the first time. The Panthers acknowledged Pysyk with a tribute on the scoreboard. ... Panthers F Noel Acciari (upper body) was scratched.

UP NEXT

The two teams meet again on Wednesday and close out the three-game set Thursday.

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Updated : 2021-02-26 10:00 GMT+08:00