Florida Panthers

Panthers can’t solve Stars, lose second game in a row

Florida Panthers Josh Brown 92) gets hit in the face by Dallas Stars Blake Comeau (15) in the third period at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, Tuesday, February, 12, 2019.
Florida Panthers Josh Brown 92) gets hit in the face by Dallas Stars Blake Comeau (15) in the third period at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, Tuesday, February, 12, 2019. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

The Panthers have been powerless to prevent their two-game losing streak — as in 0 for 8 on the power play in those contests.

Florida’s power play, which had been No. 1 in the NHL since Nov. 1, went 0 for 4 on Tuesday in a 3-0 home loss to the Dallas Stars, who are No. 1 in the Western Conference and No. 2 in the NHL in fewest overall goals allowed.

The Panthers had been the only team in the NHL not to be shut out this season, but Stars backup goalie Anton Khudobin made 30 saves to end that streak.

It was his second shutout of the season as Dallas killed off one penalty in the first period, two in the second and one in the third.

“Our power play, with the personnel we have, we should be scoring like we have the rest of the year,” Panthers center Vincent Trocheck said.

“[The Stars] play a tight zone. They don’t give up many chances in the slot. A lot of our chances were one and done.”

As for the Dallas offense, Tyler Seguin scored twice — including an empty-netter — and Esa Lindell added one for the Stars, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Seguin, who also had an assist, leads Dallas with 24 goals and 54 points. Lindell has eight goals.

Alexander Radulov also had two assists.

Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo made 16 saves, but Trocheck certainly didn’t fault him.

“The chances we are giving up are too quality,” Trocheck said. “We may only give up six or seven chances, but five of them are in the slot. We are doing a good job of limiting the chances. But the chances we give up have to be less quality.”

Meanwhile, Florida’s home-ice issues continued with this loss, dropping to 11-15-3 this season at BB&T Center. That includes Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning as the Panthers are off to an awful start on this crucial seven-game home stretch that still has five more opportunities ahead.

Dallas opened Tuesday’s scoring on a give-and-go play with 11:47 expired in the first period. Seguin split two defenders on the rush into the offensive zone and then dished to rookie Roope Hintz on the right wing. Seguin kept on skating, beating everyone back as he redirected Hintz’s return pass over Luongo’s stick.

It was Seguin’s sixth goal in his past seven games.

Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle was the last man back on that play, and he was unable to do anything to stop the pass.

Dallas extended its lead to 2-0 with 12:39 expired in the second period. Lindell, a defenseman, found an opening in the slot, received a short pass from Seguin and beat Luongo with a wrist shot over his stick.

PANTHERS0213DSCORE2CTJ.JPG
Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo stays on the ice after Dallas Stars Esa Lindell (23) skates away after scoring third period goal at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, Tuesday, February, 12, 2019. CHARLES TRAINOR JR ctrainor@miamiherald.com

The Stars clinched the game on Seguin’s empty-netter with 2:12 left in the third.

THIS AND THAT

▪ Panthers center Jamie McGinn, who had been out due to back surgery, made his season debut. He did not register any shots on goal in 9:42 of ice time, and he was on for one of Dallas’ scores.

McGinn, who had 13 goals and 16 assists in 76 games last season, was operated on in September.

“It was frustrating, just being in a lot of pain,” McGinn told FloridaPanthers.com. “It was something that had to be done, but I was determined to come back this season.”

McGinn, who also had back surgery in 2014, replaced Colton Sceviour, who has an upper-body injury.

▪ The Panthers are expected to have at least $21 million in salary-cap space to make moves this summer.

▪ The Panthers’ home stretch continues on Thursday against the Calgary Flames.

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