PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins survived a subdued start to beat the Dallas 4-2 at PPG Paints Arena Friday night. The Penguins began to push for their second goal later in the second period but were otherwise stopped or missed the net until Penguins defenseman Kris Letang had to deke a defender. Then another defender. Finally, Letang had to fool Dallas goalie Anton Khudobin for an uplifting goal which sent the Penguins on the way to their fifth straight win.
“I was able to fake the shot and get them to go down. I think I had to do it twice,” Letang smiled. “I was trying to find the backdoor play but they played man-on-man, so it gave me room to go to the net.”
Letang did that and suddenly a lifeless building had a reason to cheer. And the Penguins team seized the momentum against Dallas, too. The Penguins began to dominate the game after Letang’s goal and Patric Hornqvist scored the goal which held up as the game-winner just a few minutes later.
However, the Penguins defenseman didn’t want to poke his team for lacking energy for the first half of the game.
“These are types of teams, especially with the (Western Conference), they’re big, physical teams and they play a really tight defensive game,” Letang said. “It’s tough to flow back and forth and get a lot of offense. They play well defensively.”
Letang correctly noted they were one of the best goal suppression teams in the NHL last season. Dallas decided not to lure the Penguins into an open game.
However, Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist also correctly noted about Letang, “That’s why he gets the big bucks.”
Letang also scored the empty-net goal, on an assist from Hornqvist.