Stars Blank Penguins for Third Straight Win

Saturday, 01.25.2014 / 11:45 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars Blank Penguins for Third Straight Win

The Dallas Stars rolled out another impressive performance Saturday night, and this time it came against one of the top teams in the league. Kari Lehtonen posted his second shutout in three games, and his teammates scored twice on the power play as the Stars ran their winning streak to three games with a 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at American Airlines Center.

Sergei Gonchar, Jamie Benn and Rich Peverley scored for the Stars, who have outscored their opponents, 14-1, during the three-game winning streak.

“The last three games have all been excellent from all three zones,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “This one against a highly skilled team and taking care of special teams probably knocks the other two down a little bit. It was a very good win for our team.”

The Stars rolled out a strong first period, scoring on a power play to take a 1-0 lead. They extended the lead to 3-0 by the midway point of the second period. Through the first 40 minutes of the game they held the Penguins to just 12 shots on goal. Through 60 minutes they ended up holding one of the league’s top scoring teams without a goal.

The Stars won the special teams battle against the top special teams team in the league. The Stars were 2-3 on the power play against the league’s top penalty kill unit. The Dallas penalty kill was 4-4 against Pittsburgh’s top ranked power play.

“Our special teams were really good tonight” said Stars center Cody Eakin. “We were sharp, quick and crispy and doing everything we needed to do.”

The Dallas power play has scored in seven straight games and is 9-24 (37.5 percent) during that stretch. The penalty kill is 15-15 over the last five games.

“Our power play has been a lot better lately and our kill has been great, too,” said Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski. “It’s a big part of the game. Games are so tight, that one goal on special teams can decide games a lot of times.”

Lehtonen was sharp in net, posting third shutout of the season. He has stopped 66 of 67 shots over the last three games.

“He’s been great,” said Goligoski. “His rebound control right now is unbelievable, he is eating everything up.”

“I just keep trying to do what I’ve been trying to do the whole season,” Lehtonen said. “The guys in front of me have played really well, especially tonight.”

The Penguins, who have a 17 point lead in the Metropolitan Division and a seven point lead for first overall in the Eastern Conference, lost for just the third time in the last ten games.

“There’s no looking at the standings and taking your foot off the pedal,” said Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma. “I think we have seen some teams, we see tonight with this team, they’re really pushing hard right now to get into the playoffs. This is desperation for them and we saw that in their last two games. We saw it again tonight. This was a desperate team, played hard. We have to be able to match that regardless of where our position is or what the standings look like.”

The Stars outshot the Penguins 10-4 in the first period, where the two teams each had a power play chance and the Stars cashed in on theirs. Gonchar beat Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with a slap shot from the high slot with 4:58 left in the period to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.

The Stars extended the lead to 2-0 early in the second period, scoring on their second power play of the night. Goligoski set up Jamie Benn, who scored from the bottom of the right circle at the 3:13 mark.

It was a 3-0 game midway through the period when Rich Peverley forced a turnover in the neutral zone, took a pass from Shawn Horcoff and beat Fleury with a shot from the right circle at 10:20 of the period.

The Penguins stepped up the pressure in the third period, but Lehtonen and the Stars’ penalty kill held the fort. Pittsburgh had 5:15 of power play time, but the Stars killed it off. Lehtonen ended up stopping all 12 shots he faced in the period to shut the door on the Penguins and help the Stars nail down the victory.

The Stars’ continue the homestand Monday when they take on the Colorado Avalance.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.




1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
J. Benn 13 5 10 2 15
J. Spezza 13 5 8 0 13
C. Eakin 13 1 7 -4 8
A. Goligoski 13 4 3 -6 7
P. Sharp 13 4 2 -4 6
P. Eaves 9 3 3 3 6
R. Faksa 13 3 2 2 5
M. Janmark 12 2 3 -3 5
C. Sceviour 11 2 3 1 5
J. Klingberg 13 1 3 -5 4
K. Lehtonen 6 3 0 .899 2.81
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .865 3.29 is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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