Game Recap

Stars 5, Thrashers 3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:49 AM

Associated Press

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Stars 5, Thrashers 3
Dallas Stars 5, Atlanta Thrashers 3

ATLANTA (AP) -Patrik Stefan played Friday night just like the Atlanta Thrashers expected him to when they made him the franchise's first draft pick in 1999.

The only twist: Stefan no longer plays for the Thrashers.

Stefan, traded to Dallas last summer, made the most of his return to Atlanta, getting his first goal and two assists of the season in the Stars' 5-3 win.

Mike Ribeiro scored two goals in the opening period for Dallas, which built a big lead and withstood the Thrashers' short-lived comeback attempt in the third period.

Stefan and defenseman Jaroslav Modry were traded to Dallas for center Niko Kapanen and a draft pick on June 24.

Stefan had no points while appearing in only six games for the Stars before Friday night, but he was in top form for his big homecoming.

"I spent six years here that were very special, so I'm sure I had a little extra tonight," Stefan said. "But as soon as the puck drops it doesn't matter where you play."

Atlanta was left with its first three-game losing streak of the season and concerns about Marian Hossa, who needed help leaving the ice after crashing into the boards late in the game.

Hossa looked groggy as he sat slumped on the bench, but insisted he'll be ready for Saturday's game at Montreal.

"I'm going to be fine," Hossa said.

Marty Turco stopped 20 shots to help Dallas win for the ninth time in 10 games against Atlanta. The Stars have won each of their last five visits to Atlanta, but this win over the first-place Thrashers was the most impressive.

"They have a lot of skills," Ribeiro said of the Thrashers. "They stay out of the box. They can beat anyone."

The Thrashers drew only three minor penalties, including one by Ilya Kovalchuk in the third period that set up the only power-play goal of the game - a critical goal by Mike Modano after the Thrashers had pulled to 4-3.

Turco gave up a goal to Steve Rucchin only 42 seconds into the game.

"I looked up and it was in the back of the net," Stars coach Dave Tippett said.

Dallas answered Rucchin's early goal quickly. Matthew Barnaby scored on a slap shot only 2:15 into the game and the Stars took the lead with the two goals by Ribeiro, each on assists from Stefan.

After Dallas built a 3-1 advantage, Thrashers coach Bob Hartley pulled goalie Kari Lehtonen, who stopped four of seven shots, in favor of Johan Hedberg.

"I pulled Kari basically to turn the game around," Hartley said.

Stefan's first goal of the season about 12 minutes into the second period pushed the lead to 4-1.

"Stefan was the spark we needed tonight," Tippett said.

"It's a special feeling when you come back to your former team. I'm sure he wanted to come back and play well, and that's what he did."

Atlanta tried to rally on goals by Glen Metropolit and Hossa.

Hossa's league-leading 16th goal with 6:48 left in the third period got the Thrashers within one. The comeback ended with Modano's power-play goal a minute later.

Turco moved to 5-0 in his career against the Thrashers.

Notes: Dallas was without RW Jere Lehtinen, who injured his leg in Wednesday night's loss to the New York Islanders. ... Dallas D Trevor Daley drew a 10-minute misconduct penalty and a 2-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty late in the second period. ... The Stars are 8-3 on the road.

scoring summary
1st Period
Steve Rucchin (4) ASST: Ilya Kovalchuk (13), Scott Mellanby (8)
1 - 0 ATL
Matthew Barnaby (1) ASST: Sergei Zubov (7)
1 - 1 Tie
Mike Ribeiro (4) ASST: Patrik Stefan (1), Trevor Daley (4)
2 - 1 DAL
Mike Ribeiro (5) ASST: Patrik Stefan (2), Stephane Robidas (6)
3 - 1 DAL
2nd Period
Patrik Stefan (1) ASST: Matthew Barnaby (4), Jeff Halpern (4)
4 - 1 DAL
3rd Period
Glen Metropolit (2) ASST: Jon Sim (3), Niko Kapanen (4)
4 - 2 DAL
Marian Hossa (16) ASST: NONE
4 - 3 DAL
PPG - Mike Modano (9) ASST: Sergei Zubov (8), Philippe Boucher (5)
5 - 3 DAL
penalty summary
1st Period
Niclas Havelid  Interference against  Jussi Jokinen
Brenden Morrow  Holding against  Andy Sutton
Trevor Daley  Holding against  Jean-Pierre Vigier
2nd Period
Vitaly Vishnevski  Hooking
Jaroslav Modry  Interference against  Glen Metropolit
Matthew Barnaby  Tripping
Trevor Daley  Unsportsmanlike conduct
Trevor Daley  Misconduct (10 min)
3rd Period
Ilya Kovalchuk  Interference
goalie stats
Marty Turco
Marty Turco
SA: 23TOI: 59:52
Saves: 20EV: 15 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .870SH: 0 - 0
Johan Hedberg
Johan Hedberg
SA: 15TOI: 41:17
Saves: 13EV: 13 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 1
SV%: .867SH: 0 - 0
Kari Lehtonen
SA: 7TOI: 16:46
Saves: 4EV: 4 - 7
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: .571SH: 0 - 0
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