for this game

Weiss, Horton push Panthers toward playoffs

Mar 29, 2009 - 3:50 AM
DALLAS (AP) -- With a difficult three-game trip behind them, the Florida Panthers hope to benefit from a favorable home schedule in the final two weeks of the season.

Stephen Weiss and Nathan Horton each scored in the final minute of the second period, and the Panthers beat the reeling Dallas Stars 6-3 Saturday night.

The Panthers, who play four of their final six games at home, moved within a point of Montreal for eighth place in the Eastern Conference after completing a 2-1 road trip.

Florida opens a three-game homestand Tuesday. The first two games are against Ottawa and Atlanta, clubs on the outside of the playoff picture.

"We wanted to get two of three on this trip, and we got them," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "We've got three home games and we've got to take care of business. Hopefully at the end of the day we'll look up and be in."

Florida's road trip got off a rocky start when the Panthers blew a two-goal lead in the third in a loss to Buffalo on Wednesday.

DeBoer decided to start backup goalie Craig Anderson in place of Tomas Vokoun, and Anderson responded with 40 saves in a 4-2 victory over Philadelphia on Thursday.

After stopping 14 Stars shots in the first to keep the game close, Anderson finished with 32 saves to help the Panthers continue a push for their first playoff appearance since 2000.

"I knew I was putting him in a tough situation," DeBoer said. "He's shown his character. I think the guys see that and have responded for him."

The Stars have lost six straight (0-5-1) and have slipped six points out of the eighth in the West with seven games remaining.

Mike Ribeiro, who had a hat trick against Florida on Jan. 21, had a goal and assist. Marty Turco stopped 27 shots for the Stars.

One season after falling two wins shy of the Stanley Cup finals, Dallas is in danger of missing the playoffs for just the second time in 12 seasons.

"There's no time to wait around and see what other teams are going to do," defenseman Matt Niskanen said. "All we can control is how we play and start winning games."

Weiss took a pass on the right side and beat Turco to tie it at 2 with 59.5 seconds remaining in the second.

On a scramble in front, Horton flipped a shot over the sprawling Turco to give the Panthers the lead with 6.2 seconds left.

Florida added to its cushion in the opening minute of the third. Kamil Kreps scored on a backhander from the slot to put the Panthers on top 4-2.

"Dallas had the momentum basically for the first half of the game," Anderson said. "But we slowly took it over. When you string a couple together, it takes the wind out of the other team's sails."

After Chris Conner's goal brought the Stars within 4-3, Jay Bouwmeester had a power-play tally, and Radek Dvorak scored an empty-net goal.

"We'd gone through a bit of a down stretch, so this was big," Bouwmeester said. "With six games left, we have to basically win all of them to control our own destiny."

Ribeiro picked up a loose puck and lifted it over Anderson's shoulder for a 1-0 lead at 4:23 of the first. It was Ribeiro's 20th goal of the season, the third time in his career he's hit the mark.

Cory Stillman, who had a goal and two assists, tied it 1-1 in the second period before the Stars regained the lead.

Ribeiro dropped a cross-ice pass to Niskanen, who drove in a one-timer from the top of the left circle at 9:41 to give the Stars a 2-1 edge.






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    Panthers 6, Stars 3  FinalMar 29 10:30 AM
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    Panthers 6, Stars 3  FinalMar 29 12:10 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 3 3 6
    DALLAS 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - MIKE RIBEIRO 20 (STEVE OTT, LOUI ERIKSSON) 4:23
    2ND PRD: FLA - KAMIL KREPS 4 (VILLE PELTONEN) 0:58
    FLA - (PP) CORY STILLMAN 16 (STEPHEN WEISS) 8:04
    DAL - MATT NISKANEN 6 (MIKE RIBEIRO) 9:41
    FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 1

    Mar 28 10:32 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 6
    DALLAS 3
    3RD PRD: FLA - (SH) (EN) RADEK DVORAK 15 (UNASSISTED) 19:38

    Panthers 6, Stars 3  3rd - 0:22Mar 28 10:32 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 5
    DALLAS 3
    3RD PRD: FLA - (PP) JAY BOUWMEESTER 15 (NICK BOYNTON, CORY STILLMAN)
    15:06

    Panthers 5, Stars 3  3rd - 4:54Mar 28 10:20 PM
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    Panthers 5, Stars 3  3rd - 4:54Mar 28 10:20 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 4
    DALLAS 3
    3RD PRD: DAL - CHRIS CONNER 2 (NIKLAS GROSSMAN, BRENDAN MORRISON)
    12:27

    Panthers 4, Stars 3  3rd - 7:33Mar 28 10:18 PM
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    Panthers 4, Stars 3  3rd - 7:33Mar 28 10:18 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 4
    DALLAS 2
    2ND PRD: FLA - KAMIL KREPS 4 (VILLE PELTONEN) 0:58

    Panthers 4, Stars 2  2nd - 19:02Mar 28 9:55 PM


  • ------------------------------
    Florida
    0 3 --3
    Dallas 1 1 --2
    ------------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    ----------------------------------
    Florida 5 15 --20
    Dallas 15 11 --26
    ----------------------------------

    Goalies : Florida, Craig Anderson (26 shots, 24 saves). Dallas, Marty
    Turco (20 shots, 17 saves). Referees: Dennis Larue, Ia

    Mar 28 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 3
    DALLAS 2
    2ND PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 20 (RADEK DVORAK, CORY STILLMAN) 19:53

    Panthers 3, Stars 2  2nd - 0:07Mar 28 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    DALLAS 2
    2ND PRD: FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 13 (MICHAEL FROLIK, JAY BOUWMEESTER)
    19:00

    Panthers 2, Stars 2  2nd - 1:00Mar 28 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    DALLAS 2
    2ND PRD: DAL - MATT NISKANEN 6 (MIKE RIBEIRO) 9:41

    Panthers 1, Stars 2  2nd - 10:19Mar 28 9:17 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    DALLAS 1
    2ND PRD: FLA - (PP) CORY STILLMAN 16 (UNASSISTED) 8:04

    Panthers 1, Stars 1  2nd - 11:56Mar 28 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 0
    DALLAS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - MIKE RIBEIRO 20 (STEVE OTT, LOUI ERIKSSON) 4:23
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLA 4 4
    DAL 16 16
    GOALIES: FLA - CRAIG ANDERSON
    DAL

    Mar 28 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 0
    DALLAS 1
    1ST PRD: DAL - MIKE RIBEIRO 20 (STEVE OTT, LOUI ERIKSSON) 4:23

    Panthers 0, Stars 1  1st - 15:37Mar 28 8:15 PM