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game recap

Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins defeat Stars

Pittsburgh goalie makes 33 saves for first win in more than a month

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- A struggling Marc-Andre Fleury and surging Sidney Crosby had been going in opposite directions lately.

That wasn't the case on Thursday.

 

WATCH: All Stars vs. Penguins highlights

 

Fleury made 33 saves for his first win in more than a month and Crosby scored his 16th goal in 18 games to help the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Dallas Stars 6-2 at PPG Paints Arena.

It was Fleury's first win since Oct. 29. He was 0-3-2 allowing 22 goals in six appearances (five starts).

"[November] was a rough month, that's for sure," Fleury said. "I'm glad it's over, and I'm looking ahead now. I haven't had much fun playing hockey in the past few weeks, losing so much and giving up a lot of goals, so that was a fun game to play."

Video: DAL@PIT: Cole scores on snap shot off the crossbar

With the score tied at 2-2 late in the second period, Crosby gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead by shooting off goalie Antti Niemi's back with 21.5 seconds remaining in the period. Crosby had three points (one goal, two assists).

"Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't," Crosby said. "You're just trying to kind of get the puck between [Niemi] and the net, and hope for a good bounce. I got one there."

The Penguins (14-7-3) scored three goals in 1:33 to take a 6-2 lead. Conor Sheary scored with 3:38 remaining to make it 4-2 before Eric Fehr scored into an empty net to push it to 5-2 with 2:46 left and Nick Bonino scored to make it a four-goal lead with 2:05 remaining.

The Penguins responded to a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Wednesday when they allowed the game-winning goal in the final 30 seconds.

Video: DAL@PIT: Sheary scores off of Crosby's feed

The Stars (9-10-6) fell to 3-7-4 on the road.

"It's going to be tough to win. When you're scoring one or two goals a night, you're not going to win many games," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We were pressing there late and it's a tight game, but we had three or four great opportunities."

Ian Cole sent a snap shot high past Niemi to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead 8:47 into the first period.

Stars forward Devin Shore tied it 1-1 with 8:35 remaining in the first. Stephen Johns shot from the right circle off Patrick Eaves and Shore before it trickled by Fleury and over the goal line.

Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead on a 5-on-3 goal from Patric Hornqvist 7:43 into the second period.

Less than four minutes later, Jamie Benn sent a backhand shot wide of an open net, but Tyler Seguin answered with a power-play goal to tie the score 2-2 with 8:39 remaining in the second.

Video: DAL@PIT: Hornqvist beats Niemi five-hole for PPG

 

Goal of the game

After receiving a pass from Sheary behind the net, Crosby reached around the left post and shot off Niemi's glove and shoulder. Without allowing the puck to drop, Crosby batted it out of midair, off Niemi's back and in late in the second period.

Video: DAL@PIT: Crosby bats puck out of midair into the net

 

Save of the game

Fleury robbed defenseman Dan Hamhuis to keep it tied 4:42 into the second period. Jason Spezza carried the puck down the near wall and backhanded a cross-ice pass to Hamhuis gliding toward Fleury before Hamhuis went forehand-to-backhand, but shot into Fleury's glove.

 

Highlight of the game

Spezza found Seguin along the goal line during a power play midway through the second period. Seguin took a sharp-angle snap shot that snuck inside the left post past a lunging Fleury for his eighth goal of the season.

Video: DAL@PIT: Seguin drills one-timer into the net for PPG

 

Unsung moment of the game

With a 3-2 lead midway through the third period, the Penguins scrambled, with Fleury out of position, to deny the Stars the tying goal before Fleury froze the puck with 9:20 remaining. Fleury's save on a wrist shot from Brett Ritchie at 10:27, Scott Wilson's block of a shot from Johns at 10:31 and Bonino's block of a shot from Radek Faksa at 10:34 highlighted the series.

Video: DAL@PIT: Fleury makes a fantastic series of saves

 

They said it

"I certainly understand the circumstance and Marc is a guy that's accustomed to playing every night. The reality is, we feel as though we have two No. 1 goalies here right now. We're making the most of it. I think [Fleury and goalie Matt Murray] are both doing a terrific job. … I thought [Fleury] was real good tonight." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

 

"It's just not good enough. It's frustrating and we have to dig deep. We're not digging deep enough right now from our best players to everybody. We have to dig deeper, especially in those big moments, and find ways to win hockey games." -- Stars forward Tyler Seguin

 

Need to know

Penguins rookie forward Jake Guentzel was healthy scratched for the first time in his NHL career. Carl Hagelin replaced him on center Evgeni Malkin's line and Fehr re-entered the lineup. … The Stars dressed seven defensemen and scratched forwards Curtis McKenzie and Adam Cracknell.

 

What's next

Stars: At the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-SW+, NHL.TV)

Penguins: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, ROOT, FS-D, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Crosby enjoys three-point night in Penguins' 6-2 win

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