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game recap

Stars rally past Penguins in third period

Antoine Roussel scores winner after Dallas trails by two

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars scored three straight goals in the third period to rally for a 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at American Airlines Center on Tuesday.

Brett Ritchie, Jason Spezza and Antoine Roussel scored in a 6:56 span for Dallas (25-28-10), which won for the second time this season when trailing after the second period (2-21-2). Defenseman John Klingberg had two assists.

"We haven't had that feeling enough this year," said Ritchie, who beat goalie Matt Murray off a rebound at 3:40 to cut Pittsburgh's lead to 2-1. "To take down a team like that, down two going into the third, it doesn't happen very often."

 

WATCH: All Penguins vs. Stars highlights

 

The Stars tied the game 2-2 at 9:41 when Spezza's wrist shot was stopped by Murray but bounced in off Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin. Jamie Benn was crashing the net but never touched the puck before it crossed the goal line.

"[Benn] made a nice little touch play in the neutral zone to give me some room, and he got their D to back off, let a good shot go, and [Benn] willed it in for me," Spezza said. "Definitely a nice bounce."

Roussel put Dallas in front 3-2 at 10:36 when he beat Murray from the top of the left faceoff circle. It was his third game-winning goal this season.

"The volume of shots wasn't crazy, I don't think," Murray said. "They just got some good chances. At the end of the day, I just got to make those saves."

Video: PIT@DAL: Spezza sizzles wrist shot past Murray

It was the first loss in three games for the Penguins (38-15-8, 84 points), who are tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for second place in the Metropolitan Division, seven points behind the Washington Capitals.

"We just got outplayed. We just got outplayed," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "I don't think we won enough puck battles, and as a result we let them come at us. And they're a dangerous team with a lot of talent. They got a lot of skill up front, and they can score goals."

Evgeni Malkin gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 10:04 of the first period when he finished off a pass from Patric Hornqvist. Malkin appeared to whiff on the shot, but he got enough of the puck to lift it over goalie Antti Niemi's glove.

The Penguins took a 2-0 lead at 10:40 of the second period when Jake Guentzel scored off a rebound. Ian Cole took a shot from the point that Niemi couldn't control, and Guentzel easily scored.

Video: PIT@DAL: Malkin chips opening goal past Niemi

 
Goal of the game

Ritchie started the Stars rally when he got to the rebound of a Klingberg shot off Murray's left pad and put it in past the sprawled goalie.

"We weren't down in the room in the second intermission at all. We believed if we got one, just one goal, it puts them on their heels and then it's a one-shot game," Ritchie said.

Video: PIT@DAL: Ritchie follows up, buries the loose puck

 

Save of the game

Niemi made a sprawling right-pad save against defenseman Justin Schultz at 2:25 of the second period.

"I thought he played a strong game for us. Made a couple real big saves," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. "They move the puck really well. But I thought we rebounded, and Antti gave us the key save at the key time to allow us to win a hockey game."

Video: PIT@DAL: Niemi gets across the crease to stop Schultz

 

Highlight of the game

After Klingberg stole defenseman Cameron Gaunce's clear off the wall at center ice, he passed to Roussel for a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that went off Murray's glove and into the net.

Video: PIT@DAL: Roussel banks goal off Murray's glove

 

Unsung performance of the game

The Stars allowed only one Penguins power play.

"It was a big deal. We talked about it before the game because their power play is dangerous and we wanted to make sure we stayed out of the box," Ruff said. "There's nights where you get the careless high sticking. I thought throughout the game we did an excellent job of staying away from any situations that would give them the man-advantage."

 

They said it

"Nothing other than ratchet up their intensity level. They're a team that they like to stretch the ice. They come at you with numbers, they come at you with four guys, and we got to work to stay above people and stay on the right side of the puck. We gave up a couple of odd-man rushes, and for me we can't give those up." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan on the Stars rally in the third period

 

"It's really hard. You create relationships in this game. I know it's the business part, but it's tough to see those guys leave. I'm glad the guys bounced back and stayed focused tonight. It's good." -- Stars forward Antoine Roussel on the recent trades of forward Patrick Eaves and defensemen Jordie Benn and Johnny Oduya

 

Need to know

Pittsburgh was 26-0-0 when entering the third period with a lead. … Defenseman Kris Letang didn't travel with the Penguins to Dallas and won't play against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

 

What's next

Penguins: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)

Stars: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Stars come back in 3rd to beat Penguins, 3-2

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