Bergenheim's late goal lifts Panthers over Stars

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 6, 2014 at 8:13 pm •  Published: April 6, 2014
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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Dallas Stars missed an opportunity to tighten their grip on their first playoff spot in six years.

Sean Bergenheim scored with 4:31 left to break a third-period tie, and the Florida Panthers snapped a five-game losing streak in a 3-2 win over the Stars on Sunday.

Bergenheim put the Panthers ahead for good when he redirected Colby Robak's drive from the left circle.

"I just tried to put my stick down on the ice and he (Robak) found it. It was a really nice play by him," Bergenheim said.

The Stars still hold a one-point lead over the Phoenix Coyotes for the second Western Conference wild-card spot. They missed a chance to extend their points lead against a team that has been struggling.

"We stopped skating. You can't do that, you have to play a full 60 minutes in these games," Stars forward Jamie Benn said. "We knew it wasn't going to be easy, they're not going to give us these games. We have to put this one behind us; it was obviously a terrible outcome. We don't want to remember this one."

Scottie Upshall and Brandon Pirri also scored for Florida, and. Roberto Luongo made 35 saves and beat Dallas for the first time in five starts.

"Myself and also the team got better as the game went on. We had a really strong second half of the game," Luongo said. "We're competitors. Anytime we step on the ice, it doesn't matter what the circumstances are, you want to have that winning mind-set and try to win."

Tyler Seguin and Benn had goals for the Stars, and Kari Lehtonen stopped 21 shots.

Florida erased a 2-0 deficit on goals by Upshall and Pirri in the second period.

The Panthers made it 2-1 when Erik Gudbranson's shot was tipped by a Dallas player, hit Upshall and bounced into the net at 8:20 of the second.

"These are good games, the league tunes into these games and they're big," Upshall said. "We have an opportunity here to play for something and those are fun games to play in."

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