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Panthers 4, Stars 2

The SportsXchange

DALLAS -- The Florida Panthers scored three unanswered third-period goals, one by rookie Aleksander Barkov and two by Marcel Goc, to beat the Dallas Stars 4-2 Thursday at American Airlines Center, spoiling the debut of Lindy Ruff as Dallas' new head coach.

Goc's game-winning goal came after he and Tomas Fleischmann led the Florida rush. Goc laid the puck off to his teammate before Fleischmann tapped it back to him to the left of the Dallas goal. Goc flipped in a snap shot to make it 3-2 at 15:05 of the final period.

With 1:30 remaining, Goc added an empty-net goal.

At 10:32 of the third, Barkov tied the game at 2. The 18-year-old knocked in a rebound for a goal in his NHL debut.

Dallas took a 2-1 lead at 7:32 of the third when Brenden Dillon scored a short-handed goal.

The Panthers scored the game's first goal with 2:19 left before the first intermission on a backhand by Scott Gomez. However, the story of the first period was the fight at 11:20 that saw four players drop the gloves. Dallas' Ryan Garbutt and Dmitry Kulikov each earned game misconducts for their roles in the scrum, while the Stars' Antoine Roussel earned 17 penalty minutes, including two minutes for instigating the confrontation. The Panthers' Mike Weaver earned a fighting major.

At 7:25 of the second, Dallas rookie Alex Chiasson scored on a wraparound to make it 1-1.

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 35 of the 38 shots, while Florida netminder Tim Thomas stopped 25 of the 27 shots in the victory.

NOTES: Thomas, the 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy winner with the Stanley Cup-winning Boston Bruins who sat out last season, made his first start since April 7, 2012, against Buffalo. The Sabres were then led by new Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff. ... Stars RW Valeri Nichushkin, the 10th overall pick in the 2013 draft, made his NHL debut. ... Gomez's goal was the 172nd of his career and his first since March 9, a span of 22 games. ... Chiasson's goal in the second period was the Dallas rookie's seventh of his short career. ... The game drew a crowd of 16,110.

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