DALLAS – Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice in the first period and the Florida Panthers beat the Dallas Stars 4-1 after losing standout defenseman Aaron Ekblad to a serious leg injury.
Ekblad was taken off on a stretcher midway through the second period after getting tangled up in the corner with Stars defenseman Esa Lindell following a hit from Lindell.
An aircast was applied to Ekblad’s left leg.
Anthony Duclair scored on a penalty shot in the first period and Owen Tippett added an empty netter with 1:05 to play.
Chris Dreidger stopped 33 shots.
Rookie Jason Robertson scored and Jake Oettinger had 19 saves for the Stars, who went 1-2-2 during a five-game homestand.
Ekblad has 11 goals for Florida this season, tied for the most among NHL defensemen.
He scored the winning goal in overtime Saturday night against the Stars.
The Panthers were already playing their third straight game without captain Aleksander Barkov, sidelined with a lower body injury, and Patric Hornqvist, who is expected to miss a week with an undisclosed injury.