Stars roll to fifth straight win, beating Penguins 4-1
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jason Spezza scored his fifth goal of the season and the Dallas Stars beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.
Johnny Oduya and John Klinberg scored their first goals of the season and Mattias Janmark got his third, helping the Stars finish a perfect four-game trip. They are 6-1-0 overall.
Antti Niemi stopped 33 shots for his third victory of the season and fourth straight against Pittsburgh. Niemi made 37 saves in a 3-0 win over the Penguins two weeks ago in Dallas.
Nick Bonino scored his first goal for Pittsburgh (3-4-0), which couldn’t extend a three-game win streak.
Evgeni Malkin’s four-game points streak ended, as did his stretch of three straight games with a goal. The Penguins have scored 11 goals in their first seven games. They ended a five-game homestand, their longest this season, and will play six of their next seven on the road.
Marc-Andre Fleury, who started each of the Penguins’ first seven games, made 19 saves.
Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin entered with a combined 10 goals and 20 points during Dallas’ hot start, but didn’t factor into the Stars’ scoring Thursday.
Dallas finished seven points out of a playoff spot last season after dropping 17 of their first 26 games.
Pittsburgh’s Pascal Dupuis returned to the lineup and played his first regular-season game in nearly a year after recovering from a torn ACL and separate bouts with career-threatening blood clots. The 36-year-old Dupuis was limited to 55 games during the previous two seasons combined, scoring six goals in 16 games last season before missing the final five months because of the blood clots. He scored once in four preseason games this season, but missed the first two weeks with a lower-body injury unrelated to the blood clots.
The Penguins carried the play early on Thursday, but Niemi stood tall, keeping Pittsburgh off the board with a few saves, including a short-handed breakaway stop on Malkin.
The Stars took over from there.
Oduya’s fluttering shot from the left point made it 1-0 with 9:05 left in the first.
The Stars scored again four minutes later with a power-play goal, their seventh in as many games. Klingberg pulled the puck around Dupuis at the blueline and fired a hard wrist shot to the top-left corner.
After David Perron’s ugly turnover in his own zone, Spezza took the puck into the slot and snapped a wrist shot over Fleury’s glove hand.
Bonino scored midway through the second, but Janmark helped Dallas regain its three-goal edge less than three minutes later. Fleury denied Valeri Nichushkin’s initial redirection in front, but Janmark scored on the rebound.
NOTES: Bonino left in the third period after an elbow from Jason Demers, who was assessed a game misconduct. . Penguins’ second-round pick Daniel Sprong, who missed Tuesday’s game because of work visa issues, was scratched on Thursday. … Pittsburgh also scratched D Adam Clendening and F Bobby Farnham, while Dallas sat defensemen Jamie Oleksiak and Patrik Nemeth. .. Both teams are back in action Saturday as the Penguins visit Nashville while Dallas begins a four-game homestand against Florida.
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- Jason Spezza
- Johnny Oduya
- Mattias Janmark
- Nick Bonino
- Pittsburgh Penguins