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Streak is Over: Shorthanded Penguins Stumble Late, Lose 3-2 to Dallas Stars



Pittsburgh Penguins game, Dallas Stars

The Pittsburgh Penguins (20-9-5) could not win their 11th in a row. It started as the laugher or the high-scoring type game that has recently highlighted the Penguins’ winning streak but a pair of goals 75 seconds apart in the final five minutes gave the Dallas Stars a 3-2 win at American Airlines Center on Saturday.

Joe Pavelski (13) tied the game 2-2 with five minutes remaining. He was in a prime position in front of Jarry for an easy rebound poke.

One minute later, Penguins defenseman John Marino fell at center ice, which allowed Dallas a two-on-one. Jarry made two brilliant saves, but Roope Hintz (13) was first on a loose puck near the cage and put into the net.

Dallas outshot the Penguins 15-8 in the third period.

The first period looked like it would be another Penguins runaway as they scored a pair of goals, but the game tightened, the Dallas Stars outchanced the Penguins significantly in the second and third periods.

Sidney Crosby and Evan Rodrigues led all players with four shots through the middle of the third period. Pavelski’s goal was his fourth shot, as well.

As the Penguins continue to patchwork their lines and lineup, including having only 11 forwards on Saturday, the offense has come from a combination of Crosby’s line and unlikely sources. So, it was only fitting that defensive defenseman Brian Dumoulin scored the first Penguins goal.

Six minutes into the first period, Dumoulin activated on the right-wing wall as Crosby battled in the crease. As Crosby exited the crease without help from the Stars defense, Dumoulin’s (2) wrister whistled past Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger‘s left shoulder.

Dumoulin can now tease defense partner Kris Letang, who has only one goal this season. Though Letang has 28 points in 30 games, including the primary assist on Dumoulin’s marker.

Evgeni Malkin was not in the lineup, but Jeff Carter¬†returned to the lineup. Carter was activated this week but missed the last two games as he recovered from COVID. He played his first game in 2022 and set in motion the Pittsburgh Penguins’ second goal just 27 seconds after the first.

Carter won an offensive zone faceoff and kicked the puck to defenseman Marcus Pettersson. Kasperi Kapanen (8) neatly deflected Pettersson’s shot just before it hit Oettinger’s mitt.

The Penguins won eight of the 10 first periods during their 10-game streak, and Saturday’s lead upped their total to nine of the last 11. The team has also outscored opponents 17-1 in the last 11 first periods.

The second period was a turn in both style and space. Each team was limited to just 10 shots, and the Penguins had just five scoring chances after getting 10 in the first. Dallas had nine chances in the second and scored the period’s only goal.

Denis Gurianov (6) received some good luck on a three-on-two rush. Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman, who dressed as the seventh Penguins defenseman, blocked Gurianov’s initial shot. Still, it caromed back to Gurianov, who immediately snapped a top-shelf wrister past Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry.

Dallas clamped down in the third period, too. After some early chances, the Penguins had to fight through a mass of Dallas defenders. Dallas has won 12 of their last 13 home games.