There were 146 penalty minutes assessed on the two teams, including 77 against Boston in the physical contest. Referees Chris Rooney and Don VanMassenhoven levied seven misconducts.
Bruins rookie Blake Wheeler dug the puck out of the corner and fed Sturm in the left faceoff circle and he fired a one-timer past Dallas goalie Marty Turco 2:41 into the first period to give Boston a 1-0 lead. It was Wheeler’s first NHL assist.
The Stars withstood a four-minute Bruins power play in the first period as Boston defenseman Dennis Wideman missed an open net, and Turco made an acrobatic save on Stephane Yelle all alone in front of the net with 21 seconds left.
Bergeron stole the puck from Dallas defenseman Brenden Morrow behind the net and then stuffed it past Turco to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead in the second period.
Boston scored three times in a wild, fight-filled third period. Avery went at it with the Bruins’ Andrew Ference, followed by a bout between Shawn Thornton and the Stars’ Krystopher Barch. The fighting was capped by a major brawl with eight minutes left that involved several players from both teams.
Bergeron took the puck off Loui Eriksson’s stick to prevent the Stars from scoring the tying goal in the third period and the Bruins then put it away. Phil Kessel took a pass off the boards from Marc Savard and fired a shot through Turco’s pads for his seventh goal of the season to make it 3-1 and Boston’s Mark Stuart followed with a wrister in the slot off a pass from Stephane Yelle.
Thomas made 35 saves, including 21 in a second period in which he held the Stars scoreless despite a series of power plays.