Evgeni Malkin spelled doom for the Stars on Monday night in Pittsburgh as he netted his 79th game-winning goal with just over 30 seconds left for the Penguins’ sixth victory in a row, handing Dallas a 2-1 loss to open a five-game road trip to the east.
Malkin’s goal, his ninth of the year, followed a shot by teammate Bryan Rust. Rust’s shot was knocked away, and he was pushed into Stars netminder Jake Oettinger, leaving the net open for Pittsburgh’s (17-8-4, 38 points) game-winner. Officials reviewed the goal for goaltender interference, but the point stood.
WHAT TO KNOW
The Stars managed only one goal in the loss, despite outshooting Pittsburgh 27-25. Penguin goalie Tristan Jarry made 26 of 27 saves to run his season record to 13-3-3.
The night featured Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby (a two-time MVP) and rising star Jason Robertson for Dallas. Neither player scored in the contest, and Robertson did not get off a shot for only the second time this year.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph scored Pittsburgh’s first goal of the game to knot the contest at 1-1 before Malkin’s game-winner.
BY THE NUMBERS
Over the last five contests, Hintz leads the Stars in points (eight) and assists (five), while Jason Robertson leads Dallas in goals (four) and plus-minus at three (this stat reflects how many times a player was on the ice when his team scored or when the other team scored against his team). Robertson saw just 19 minutes of ice time in the loss.
Dallas went 0-for-2 on the power play and collected a goal just under once every four shots (a 24.7% success rate with the extra skater). The Stars are tied for the fifth most penalty minutes this season with 327. The Ducks’ 360 minutes in the penalty box lead the NHL.
“I thought we played a great road game,” Oettinger told NHL.com. “We gave ourselves every chance to win. Just a bad bounce at the end, so I think we have to be proud of how we played. We feel like we deserved a point or two. That stings, but we have to flush it quick.”
“Pretty good road game for 19-and-a-half minutes,” Pete DeBoer, the Stars coach, told NHL.com. “We made a mistake at the end there. Did a lot of good things, had chances to score some goals. I think we would’ve liked to give [Oettinger] some offensive support tonight.”
The Devils are piloted by 21-year-old Jack Hughes, who leads the team with 34 points, and goalie Vitek Vanecek (12-2-2), though New Jersey does carry three netminders on their roster, and all three play.