Lightning top Stars in preseason opener

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St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO,
St. Petersburg Times Staff Writer

DALLAS — Adam Hall scored twice, with two fine assists by Dana Tyrell, and D Mattias Ohlund scored his first goal in more than a year Tuesday as the Lightning earned a 4-2 victory over the Stars at American Airlines Center in the preseason opener for both teams.

There were four fights in the game, three in the first period, and 60 minutes in penalties. D Matt Smaby left in the first period with an upper-body injury that might have resulted from a bout with Brian Sutherby.

It also was the NHL debut for Lightning coach Guy Boucher.

Hall opened the scoring 4:44 into the first period from in front of the net off a Tyrell pass through traffic. Dominic Moore scored 6:31 into the second period with a re-direct of a pass from Ryan Malone, who made a strong right-wing rush and centered the puck to the front of the net.

G Dan Ellis made 17 saves but allowed Aaron Gagnon’s short-side backhand tally 1:19 into the third period that cut Dallas’ deficit to 2-1.

Hall made it 3-1 at 3:39, converting a rebound into an empty net after Tyrell’s left-wing rush and shot forced G Brent Kahn to make a leg save. Philip Larsen made it 3-2 at 7:17 when left alone in the slot.

Ohlund, coming off his first NHL season without a goal, scored with 9:05 left from the left point.

SMABY HURT: Smaby fought Sutherby 1:30 into the game and was buckled by a big right hand to the back of the head. Smaby seemed unsteady on his skates during a subsequent shift.

PANIK ATTACK: At 6 feet 2, 212 pounds, it’s tough to miss Richard Panik. But the right wing is getting noticed for his play as well.

In two scrimmages last week, Panik had two goals and a team-best six shots on goal, and Boucher couldn’t say enough.

“The puck always seems to find him,” Boucher said. “He’s a threat. The most important thing right now is I don’t think he realizes how fast he is.”

Panik, 19, drafted 52nd overall in 2009, had 21 goals and 41 points in 60 games for Windsor and Belleville of the Ontario junior league.

“I like playing in the offensive zone,” he said. “I like scoring goals.”

“We just need the consistency with him,” Boucher said. “Sometimes we see nothing, and sometimes he’s outstanding. We just have to find that happy medium, because he does some incredible stuff out there.”

ODDS AND ENDS: RW Brett Connolly, drafted sixth overall in June, is expected to play his first NHL game tonight against the Blackhawks. … G Mike Smith (finger), hurt during Monday’s practice, could resume workouts today, though he likely would not take shots. … Stars center and former Lightning Brad Richards did not play.

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