The Stars (pardon the pun) seemed to be aligned tonight for the Panthers. The Panthers have been out-possessing their opponents and out-chancing their opponents by a wide margin and have out-played their opponents in all four games. Tomas Vokoun was coming off of two consecutive shutouts and aside from Jason Garrison's groin injury everything seemed to be clicking for the new-look Panthers.
The Stars, on the other hand, were struggling with puck possession, getting outshot pretty badly, but were shooting the lights out early on in the new season. The numbers said the Panthers should have controlled this one. The Stars had other ideas.
This game was all Stars from the puck drop. Mike Riberio came out in the first period and had a couple of scoring chances on his own and the Panthers couldn't win a puck battle to save their lives. The Stars fed off of the Riberio line and kept pressure on the Panthers throughout the first period, getting goals from Steve Ott and Tom Wandell. The second period was more of the same as James Neal scored his fourth of the season and Wandell scored his second of the game.
That was enough to chase Vokoun, arguably the best goalie in the league through the first two weeks. The Panthers got a goal from Stephen Weiss late, but it wasn't nearly enough as the Stars dominated through the end of the game.
The Stars move to 5-1 and into first in the Pacific, while the Panthers' loss leaves them last in the Southeast and 13th in the Pacific.