Stars beat Pens 3-2 despite Crosby's 1st-ever goal in Dallas
By SCHUYLER DIXON
DALLAS (AP) Joe Pavelski scored the tiebreaking goal on a third-period power play, and the Stars overcame Sidney Crosby's first career goal in Dallas in a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.
Roope Hintz and Jamie Benn also scored as the Stars moved a point ahead of Minnesota atop the Central Division with the Wild's 5-4 shootout loss in Philadelphia.
Crosby's 548th career goal was the 35-year-old's first in 10 games at the home of the Stars and gave him at least one in each of the other 31 NHL arenas.
Despite the loss, the Penguins held on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference because of Florida's 6-2 loss to Toronto.
Pavelski tipped a pass from Miro Heiskanen past Casey DeSmith midway through the third period after Chad Ruhwedel had been called for high-sticking.
The assist gave the 23-year-old Heiskanen a 12-game point streak, a franchise record for a Stars defenseman. Craig Hartsburg set the previous mark in 1986, when the team was in Minnesota.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph pulled the Penguins within 3-2 with six minutes to go, but Jake Oettinger and the Stars held on despite Pittsburgh's 6-on-4 advantage with the goalie pulled for the final 68 seconds after Jani Hakanpaa was called for slashing.
Oettinger had 40 saves in his 31st victory. DeSmith, who had a 1.00 goals-against average in two games against Dallas coming in, stopped 30 shots.
After Hintz put Dallas in front with his 33rd goal in the first period, Crosby pulled Pittsburgh even with his 31st in the second a night after scoring in Colorado to tie Mario Lemieux for the most 30-goal seasons in franchise history with 11.
Jason Robertson had two assists for 50 on the season, second on the club to Heiskanen's 51, in his 200th career game.
With the game tied 1-1 early in the third, Oettinger made a sprawling pad save on Bryan Rust on a chance set up by Crosby's pass, then made another pad save against Crosby on the rebound.
Stars F Tyler Seguin returned from a six-game absence after getting cut on his left leg March 9 against Buffalo. ... Stars F Radek Faksa was a late scratch with an illness.
Penguins: Washington at home Saturday.
Stars: A three-game homestand ends Saturday against Vancouver.
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Updated March 23, 2023