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(Tuesday, March 18th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, Dallas 1
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Sidney Crosby's line scored four of Pittsburgh's five goals on Tuesday, with the captain netting a pair of goals with an assist as the Penguins rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars.
Lee Stempniak scored his first goal as a member of the Penguins and added two helpers, Chris Kunitz also recorded a multi-point game with a goal and an assist, and Brandon Sutter tacked on a late shorthanded tally.
"Our line felt like we had some good jump. We're on pucks and we got rewarded for it," Crosby said.
Jeff Zatkoff made 32 saves for Pittsburgh, which bounced back from a weekend home-and-home sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Kari Lehtonen, playing in his first game since suffering a concussion against the Wild on March 8, gave up all five goals on 32 shots in his return.
Dallas has dropped three straight and still sits two points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild card position in the Western Conference.
Pittsburgh, after wasting an early power-play chance, opened the scoring at the 4:17 mark when Lehtonen lost his footing and Crosby lifted a backhander into the open cage.
The Stars tied it later in the opening period when Trevor Daley intercepted a Penguins clearing attempt and sent a wrister on net that Tyler Seguin deflected past Zatkoff with 7:30 on the clock.
Less than three minutes later, Pittsburgh regained the lead as Kunitz crashed the net on Stempniak's shot from the slot and knocked in the rebound from a sharp angle.
Stempniak, playing his seventh game with the Penguins after being acquired in a trade-deadline deal with the Flames, made it a two-goal game at the 13:21 mark of the middle stanza, as he took Kunitz's centering feed and deked past Lehtonen despite a having a defender on his back.
"I thought the killer goal was the third one," Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said.
Crosby added another easy goal -- his 33rd of the season -- 1:56 into the third thanks to a generous deflection off the skate of a Stars defenseman, and Sutter's backhand on a breakaway trickled over the goal line with 7:13 remaining to cap the rout.
Pittsburgh improved to 32-3-1 when scoring first ... Zatkoff is 11-2-1 in his last 14 games played ... The Stars have not earned a point in Pittsburgh (0-6-0) since winning there on Dec. 23, 2000 ... The Stars beat the Penguins in Dallas, 3-0, on Jan. 25 ... Kunitz (lower body) and James Neal (concussion) both played after missing both games against the Flyers ... Seguin has 70 points this season, 21 behind Crosby's league-leading total.
03/18 23:47:49 ET
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