Boston Bruins' Marco Sturm (16) of Germany, celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008 in Boston. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Mary Schwalm
BOSTON - Marco Sturm scored two goals and Patrice Bergeron added a goal and a great defensive play to help the Boston Bruins beat the Dallas Stars 5-1 on Saturday night.
There were 146 penalty minutes assessed on the two teams, including 77 against Boston in the physical contest. Referees Chris Rooney and Don VanMassenhoven levied seven misconducts.
Bruins rookie Blake Wheeler dug the puck out of the corner and fed Sturm in the left faceoff circle and he fired a one-timer past Dallas goalie Marty Turco 2:41 into the first period to give Boston a 1-0 lead. It was Wheeler's first NHL assist.
Dallas winger Sean Avery wristed a long shot from the right wing that appeared to catch Bruins goalie Tim Thomas by surprise 7:55 into the first period to tie it.
The Stars withstood a four-minute Bruins power play in the first period as Boston defenceman Dennis Wideman missed an open net, and Turco made an acrobatic save on Stephane Yelle all alone in front of the net with 21 seconds left.
Bergeron stole the puck from Dallas winger Brenden Morrow behind the net and then stuffed it past Turco to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead in the second period.
Boston scored three times in a wild, fight-filled third period. Avery went at it with the Bruins' Andrew Ference, followed by a bout between Shawn Thornton and the Stars' Krystopher Barch. The fighting was capped by a major brawl with eight minutes left that involved several players from both teams.
"I think they did a great job on the penalty kill and survived that period and came out in the third period and finished the job," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Had we lost our cool, it could have gone the other way."
Bergeron took the puck off Loui Eriksson's stick to prevent the Stars from scoring the tying goal in the third period and the Bruins then put it away. Phil Kessel took a pass off the boards from Marc Savard and fired a shot through Turco's pads for his seventh goal of the season to make it 3-1 and Boston's Mark Stuart followed with a wrister in the slot off a pass from Stephane Yelle.
"We had good opportunities (in the second period)," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "Then we make one mistake the whole period and it's in our net."
Sturm scored his second of the night on a power play off passes from P.J. Axelsson and Michael Ryder to make it 5-1.
Thomas made 35 saves, including 21 in a second period in which he held the Stars scoreless despite a series of power plays.