Spezza has big goal, Stars beat Lightning 5-3
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Jason Spezza is on an offensive roll.
Spezza scored a momentum-shifting goal in the third period and had an assist as the Dallas Stars beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 on Thursday night.
”Jason is pretty hot right now,” said Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen, who made 30 saves.
Dallas also got goals from Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Cody Eakin and Jason Demers.
Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist for the Lightning.
Vladislav Namestnikov (7:06) and Stamkos (8:44) scored 1:38 apart in the third to get the Lightning within 4-3.
Spezza, coming off a three-goal game in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Edmonton, responded and gave Dallas a 5-3 lead at 10:29.
”It’s been a good week for me,” Spezza said. ”I’m just trying to keep it going.”
Dallas coach Lindy Ruff expected the defending Eastern Conference champion Lightning to make a third-period push.
”They’re a good team,” Ruff said. ”They forced us into a couple turnovers and took advantage. But, we answered right away.”
Spezza has 21 goals and 52 points in 39 games against Tampa Bay.
Demers put Dallas up 4-1 with 1:48 to go in the second during a 5-minute power play.
The man advantage came about after Tampa Bay’s Nikita Nesterov was given a 5-minute penalty and game misconduct at 15:56 for hitting Curtis McKenzie from behind.
McKenzie needed assistance from the ice and appeared to be unable to put weight on his leg as he headed toward the locker room from the bench. The Stars said McKenzie had a game-ending lower body injury and was taken to an area hospital.
Earlier in the second, Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman was shaken up and went to the locker room after getting checked into the boards by Benn.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper had no update on Hedman’s status, but said the defenseman did go through concussion protocols.
”We’re concerned for his well-being,” Lightning center Brian Boyle said. ”We want him to be OK and be well.”
Eakin made it 3-1 skating alone down the slot and taking a backhand pass from Mattias Janmark at 9:34 of the second.
Janmark is the first Dallas Stars rookie to have at least one point in each of his first four NHL games.
Benn was left alone near the post and scored a power-play goal off a nice pass from Spezza to put Dallas ahead 2-1 with 5:46 left in the first.
Tampa Bay has allowed seven power-play goals in five games this season.
The Stars tied it at 1 at 8:58 on Seguin’s goal.
Stamkos opened the scoring 2:24 into the game. He has seven goals in eight games against Dallas.
Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop allowed five goals on 22 shots.
NOTES: Tampa Bay is 4-12-3 at home against Dallas, their worst home record against any opponent. … Lightning C Alex Killorn was a late scratch due to an upper body injury. … McKenzie was recalled from Dallas of the AHL on Wednesday after RW Patrick Eaves went on injured reserve Wednesday with a lower body injury. … Tampa Bay C Cedric Paquette (foot) played for the first time this season. … Stars RW Valeri Nichushkin was scratched for the second consecutive game.