0:00: Time runs out and the Penguins win their third-consecutive victory, 6-3, over the Dallas Stars. Pittsburgh moves three points ahead of New Jersey in the race for the Atlantic Division crown. Sidney Crosby
scores two goals and adds an assist while Chris Kunitz
and Jordan Staal
each record a goal and an assist. The Penguins are back in action tomorrow afternoon when they host the equally-hot Boston Bruins at 3 p.m.
Pittsburgh falls to 1-for-5 on the power play.
It's right back to the power play as James Neal
is penalized for tripping.
And following the faceoff Rupp absolutely takes care of Kris Barch in a fight. The Penguins agaain answer the bell.
Welcome to Pittsburgh Alexei Ponikarovsky. Gonchar missed the net on a one-timer but the puck went off the boards right to Ponikarovsky, who tosses a shot over Turco for his 20th goal of the season and first as a Penguin. Penguins 6, Stars 3.
A Morrow penalty puts the Penguins on the power play.
NO HE DID NOT!!!! While on the ice making a snow angel Fleury reaches back and gloves Eriksson's stuff attempt. That should've been a goal but Fleury said no!
What a brick wall Fleury has been between the pipes. He has now stopped 22 of 25 shots.
Another penalty is assessed to the Penguins as Fedotenko is caught for interference.
Don Farr Moving and Storage Moves of the Game:
Crosby almost extended his league lead in hat tricks to four. Lehtonen sticks out the right pad to stone his shot from the left circle and covers up the rebound before Crosby could jam it home.
And once again the Penguins penalty killing unit comes up big in the third period.
"Fleury! Fleury! Fleury!" I think Fleury has knocked the rust out of his game. He just made a glove save on Richards drive from the point.
13:26: Marc-Andre Fleury
has been clutch in the net since the Stars went ahead 3-1 early in the second period:
Letang is off to the sin bin for a cross-checking minor.
Dallas kills Daley's penalty but the Penguins get three shots on the man-advantage as they moved the puck around Dallas' box with ease.
Daley goes to the box for high-sticking.
Crosby is en fuego. He picks up a loose puck in the neutral zone, skates down two-on-one with Staal and sends a shot past the blocker of Lehtonen for a shorthanded goal, his second goal of the afternoon. Penguins 5, Stars 3.
The first penalty is over.
Fleury has Morrow's number again as he moves quickly from left to right to deny his one-touch shot from two feet away.
The Penguins begin the period having to kill 57 seconds on a two-man advantage.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
The Penguins now lead on the faceoff dot, 24-23.
- Alexei Ponikarovsky leads the Penguins with four shots.
- Pittsburgh is outhitting the Stars 26-16.
And a high-scoring middle frame comes to a close with the Penguins leading the Stars, 4-3. Dallas had a 3-1 lead on the Penguins but Pittsburgh score three unanswered to take the lead back heading into the final period. Pittsburgh holds a 24-17 shots advantage as well.
The Stars are going to have a great chance at the start of the second period to tie the game as Gonchar is given a high-sticking penalty.
Dallas gets another late-period power play as Staal is sent to the box for hooking.
Fleury makes another 10-bell save. This time he robs his Canadia Olympic teammate Morrow's shot from the slot with a glove save.
The game gets a little chippy after the Penguins score three unanswered goals here in the second period. Following the whistle we might have the fight of the year between Craig Adams
and Steve Ott. Both players took turns controlling the fight. Adams goes to the locker room to a raucuous ovation and deservedly so. Ott is one of the tougher customers in the NHL and Adams took it to him and stood his ground.
Another dose of Crosby magic. The Penguins superstar grabs his own rebound, circles behind the net and tries passing in front to Dupuis. His shot goes off the shin pad of Trevor Daley and sneaks into the net. Kunitz and Jordan Leopold get the assists. It's Leopold's first point as a Penguin. Penguins 4, Stars 3.
4:47: Brooks Orpik
just steamrolled Segal, much to the delight of the crowd, along the near boards in the Dallas zone.
Here is tonight's Nemacolin Woodlands Big Five:
Crosby is taking this shift between Ponikarovsky and Fedotenko as head coach Dan Bylsma does a little experiementing.
Kari Lehtonen just made a great save on Mike Rupp from three feet away as the Penguins winger was left wide open as Crosby found him from behind the net.
And we have a brand-new hockey game! Off the rush it's Kris Letang
threading a picture-perfect feed to Pascal Dupuis
on the doorstep. Dupuis taps the puck behind Lehtonen for his 15th goal of the season. Penguins 3, Stars 3.
The Penguins congratulated Mike Modano earlier on being the highest-scoring American of all-time. We also want to congratulate him on having a beautiful and talented wife, pop singer Willa Ford:
Dallas, who doesn't have a great penalty-killing unit, does a nice job killing the Ribeiro penalty.
Ribeiro puts the Penguins back on the man-advantage thanks to a holding penalty.
The Penguins just recognized the Stars Mike Modano on being the highest-scoring American-born player in NHL history. Classy move!
Remember the game-changing save Fleury just made on Richards. Just when it looked like the Dallas center was going to throw a shot into an open cage, Fleury dived back to make a sparkling stick save to keep the Penguins within one.
Absolutely sick shot by Chris Kunitz
!!!!! He takes a cross-ice pass from Crosby in the left circle and rips a shot over the glove of Lehtonen into the top corner of the cage. Crosby and Kris Letang
get the assists. Stars 3, Penguins 2.
Brad Richards proves why he ranks in the top five in assists in the NHL as he threads the needle perfectly to Loui Eriksson for his team-leading 25th goal of the season from just outside the paint. Dallas now has two goals in a 1:01 span. Stars 3, Penguins 1.
Great give-and-go between Ribeiro and Brandon Segal on a two-on-one and the Stars take their first lead of the game. Stars 2, Penguins 1.
The Penguins and Stars are underway.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Alexei Ponikarovsky led the Penguins with four hits in the first period and tied for the team lead with two shots.
- Jordan Leopold led Pittsburgh with two blocked shots.
- Pittsburgh is outhitting Dallas 16-10.
At the end of one period at Mellon Arena we are all tied up, 1-1. Pittsburgh holds a 10-8 advantage in shots.
Somehow Talbot gets tripped at the Dallas blue line and it's him who goes to the penalty box for interference. Not so sure about that one.
Based upon their work in the first period, the Malkin-Ponikarovsky-Fedotenko unit is going to be very tough to contain below the goal line when they establish a cycling game.
Here are highlights from recent games between the Penguins and Stars:
Pittsburgh kills off the Kennedy minor.
7:20: Tyler Kennedy
is off to the penalty box for hooking.
Beautiful goal by the Dallas Stars Mike Ribeiro to tie the game. He made a great play to create a shot for himself on the rush then went right to the rebound and turned it backhand to forehand to throw it into an open cage. Penguins 1, Stars 1.
Kari Lehtonen looks like a goaltender who has only played one game in the past year. He has been fighting a lot of the Penguins' shots. They have to keep firing shots from all angles like they did on Thursday in New York.
Dallas kills off the Grossman minor.
The Penguins have Ponikarovsky taking Guerin's spot on the top power-play unit.
Placing the two-headed monster together pays off as Nicklas Grossman takes a holding penalty.
Crosby and Malkin are taking a shift together with Malkin.
Sergei Gonchar picked up the second helper on the Staal goal, extending his scoring streak to six games. Gonchar has seven points (1G-6A) over the span.
What a goal!!!!!!! The Penguins are off and running and it's the red-hot Jordan Staal
lighting the lamp. Matt Cooke
hit the Penguins center flying through center ice and Staal split the Dallas defense. As he went in on the breakaway, Karlis Skrastins tripped him but he still was able to go five-hole for his 18th goal of the season. Penguins 1, Stars 0.
Ponikarovsky is on the ice for his first shift as a Penguin.
Fleury gets into the game early, making a save with his chest protector on a Petersen shot from the slot.
20:00: Jordan Staal
gets the first chance to play the right side with Crosby and Kunitz.
Alexei Ponikarovsky looks pretty good in powder blue, don't you say?
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
In former Penguin news, winger Toby Petersen has seven goals and 10 points in 59 games for Dallas. He spent parts of three seasons wiht the Penguins at the beginning of the decade.
1:04 PM: Marc-Andre Fleury
returns to the net for the Penguins after surrendering four goals on 12 shots against New York on Thursday. Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen makes his first NHL start since last April.
Penguins right winger Bill Guerin will miss his second straight game due to a back injury today. He will likely be replaced by a committee consisting of Pascal Dupuis
, Mike Rupp, Maxime Talbot and Craig Adams
. Eric Godard and Jay McKee are also scratched for the Penguins. Dallas' scratches include Mark Fistric and Fabian Brunnstrom.
The Penguins return home looking to stretch their winning streak to three as they host the Dallas Stars at Mellon Arena. Left winger Alexei Ponikarovsky, acquired from Toronto on Monday night, makes his Penguins debut. The 6-foot-4 Ukrainian has 19 goals and 22 assists in 61 games coming into today.
Author: Jason Seidling