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game recap

Penguins hang on, defeat Stars for fifth straight victory

Letang scores two goals in third period for Pittsburgh; Dallas loses fifth in row

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Letang's terrific go-ahead goal

DAL@PIT: Letang fakes defenders, pots go-ahead goal

Kris Letang patiently skates toward the net, dekes around two defenders and sneaks a shot past Anton Khudobin for a 2-1 lead in the 3rd

  • 01:08 •

PITTSBURGH -- Kris Letang scored twice in the third period to help the Pittsburgh Penguins to their fifth straight win, 4-2 against the Dallas Stars at PPG Paints Arena on Friday.

Patric Hornqvist had a goal and two assists, and Matt Murray made 22 saves for the Penguins (6-2-0), who have outscored their opponents 23-11 during the winning streak. Each of the five wins has come without injured forwards Evgeni Malkin (lower body), Alex Galchenyuk (lower body), Nick Bjugstad (lower body) and Bryan Rust (upper body).

"I think every guy that's coming back from injuries is going to get in line and play the same way," Letang said. "We're trying to establish an identity for our team. I think that's what we're starting to build on right now."

 

[WATCH: All Stars vs. Penguins highlights]

 

Roope Hintz and John Klingberg scored, and Anton Khudobin made 29 saves for Dallas (1-7-1), which has lost five in a row and been outscored 17-7 in that stretch.

"You can't drive passion into people," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. "You can try everything. You can try motivational tactics. You can try everything, but it has to come from within. Ultimately, if there's a puck between you and I, I'd bite your leg off to get it. That's the attitude you have to have. Anton had that competitive spirit tonight that we need to permeate throughout our lineup."

Letang, who has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in eight games, gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead at 6:34 of the third. He stick-handled around Joe Pavelski and waited for Tyler Seguin to slide by in an attempt at a blocked shot before shooting under Khudobin's right pad.

"Not much was working, as far as results," Seguin said. "[Pavelski] goes and slides. Then, for whatever reason, I go and slide too, and the guy just walks in on a breakaway. That just can't happen."

Hornqvist made it 3-1 when he deflected a shot from Brian Dumoulin at 10:20 of the third before Klingberg cut it to 3-2 with a wrist shot from along the right boards at 12:01.

Video: DAL@PIT: Hornqvist puts away tough redirection

Pavelski nearly tied the game with Khudobin pulled for the extra attacker when he redirected Andrej Sekera's wrist shot from the right point, but the puck hit the post with 1:08 remaining.

Letang scored into an empty net to make it 4-2 with 22 seconds left.

Hintz put the Stars ahead 1-0 at 5:10 of the second period. After a pass from Jamie Benn went off Penguins defenseman John Marino's stick, Hintz got to the puck for a breakaway and shot through Murray's five-hole.

Video: DAL@PIT: Hintz beats Murray on a breakaway

Jared McCann tied it 1-1 at 17:36 of the second when he redirected a slap shot from Marcus Pettersson. McCann missed the previous game, a 3-2 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, with a lower-body injury.

"I thought Jared had a good game," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "He's got a nose for the net. He can score. That goal was a big goal for us. I thought we were playing a pretty good hockey game, and we were down 1-0. I thought that was an important goal for us."

 

They said it

"I think we're not angry enough. That's what I think. I think we played the first two periods really good. We outhit them. Maybe we didn't outshoot them, but we outhit them. Played pretty good hockey. Something went wrong. ... What else can you say? We just got another 'L.' I don't know. We just have to keep going and do something." -- Stars goalie Anton Khudobin

"I think we've been playing great hockey. We're always five guys on the right side of the puck. We're playing against good teams too. It's hard. They want to transition fast, but we were always in their face. ... Playing for each other. It's fun right now." -- Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist

 

Need to know

The Stars changed the right wing on each of their top three lines. Benn moved from the first to the second, Jason Dickinson went from the third to the first, and Mattias Janmark dropped from the second to the third. ... Dallas didn't score on its only power play and is 1-for-25 this season. ... McCann played second-line center, where he has replaced Malkin. Before missing his sixth straight game, Malkin skated in a tracksuit prior to the morning skate. ... Penguins forward Jake Guentzel had his four-game goal streak end (five goals). ... Guentzel had an assist on Letang's second goal, extending his point streak to seven games for a new NHL career high (five goals, three assists). ... Penguins center Sidney Crosby was held without a point for the first time this season. He had 12 points (four goals, eight assists) during a seven-game point streak.

 

What's next

Stars: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSP, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Penguins: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Video: Letang powers Penguins to 4-2 win against Stars

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