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SUNRISE (SportsDirect, Inc.) — Although Jaromir Jagr’s desire to regrow his mullet drew plenty of headlines and laughter, the future Hall of Famer is also creating news by sending the Florida Panthers off to a strong start this season. Jagr looks to continue to provide the offense at the expense of one of his former teams on Saturday as the Panthers play host to the Dallas Stars.
The 43-year-old recorded his second two-goal performance of the young season and added an assist in Florida’s 3-2 victory over Buffalo on Thursday.
“Sometimes the puck goes in, sometimes it doesn’t,” Jagr told reporters. “It doesn’t matter what you do. I learned that over 25 years. Right now the puck is going in, so I’m trying to shoot it.”
Dallas’ Jason Spezza can echo a similar statement as the 32-year-old recorded a hat trick in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Edmonton and a goal and an assist in a 5-3 victory over Tampa Bay two days later.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), FSN Florida
ABOUT THE STARS (3-1-0): While Dallas has no trouble lighting up the scoreboard, it does have issues staying healthy this season. Patrick Eaves’ lower-body injury allowed for the recall of fellow forward Curtis McKenzie, who was promptly drilled into the boards by the Lightning’s Nikita Nesterov during the second period. While Nesterov was suspended two games for the hit, McKenzie (lower body) was taken to the hospital in what the team called “excruciating pain” and placed on injured reserve. Dallas, in turn, recalled forward Radek Faksa from Texas of the American Hockey League on Friday.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (3-1-0): While Jagr (726 career goals) continues his assault on the NHL record book, fellow forward Jonathan Huberdeau has yet to score a goal this season after signing a two-year contract last month. The 2013 Calder Trophy winner, who has just one point in 2015-16, recorded career highs in goals (15), assists (39), points (54), plus/minus rating (plus-10) and shots (169) in 79 games last season for the Panthers. Veteran goaltender Roberto Luongo has yielded four goals on 98 shots this season and owns a 14-7-3 career mark with two shutouts against Dallas.
1. Dallas RW Valeri Nichushkin has been a healthy scratch for the last two games as coach Lindy Ruff attempts to “get his head in the right place,” according to the team’s website.
2. Former D Hal Gill joined the Florida organization on Friday by being named manager of player development.
3. The teams will conclude their two-game season series on Oct. 24 in Dallas.