The Penguins use pretty much the same lineup the same from last night, except Marc-Andre Fleury getting in the net and Scott Wilson subbing in for Jake Guenzel
Sniper Ian Cole blows a puck up high by Antti Niemi to open the scoring on the night while on a 4v4.
Congratulations to the 105 Penguins fans who correctly predicted that @ICole28 would score first. You psychics, you! pic.twitter.com/75mqif736I— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 2, 2016
The Stars get that goal back a few minutes later when Western PA native Stephen Johns takes a shot that Devin Shore gets credit for the goal on.
(No GIF because no one on the internet cares about the Stars)
A night after going down 3v5 for clearing the puck over the glass (worst rule ever), the Pens benefit when the Stars put a puck over the glass while 4v5 to go down 3v5. Pittsburgh uses the space to finally score a PP goal (first in 6 games) with Evgeni Malkin finding Patric Hornqvist in front for a backhand 5-hole goal.
Five of Hornqvist’s six goals this season have come on the power play. And we've loved every single one. pic.twitter.com/e4Nk98EaCE— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 2, 2016
This lead isn't safe either, Dallas gets it back quickly with Tyler Seguin snapping a quick shot at a bad angle past Fleury.
Seguin isn't done yet. He wants another one. #DALvsPIT pic.twitter.com/awHPnczEsR— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 2, 2016
Late in the period Sidney Crosby pushes the Pens back to the lead scoring a Lemieux-esque goal. First he tries to shovel the puck in off Niemi from behind the net, when the rebound from that comes back to him, Crosby mid-air swats it again, this time into the net. This guy defies all superlatives.
Sidney Crosby is a threat from EVERY angle. pic.twitter.com/lUJZU3z5ST— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 2, 2016
Back and forth action, some nice saves by Fleury and then Crosby pretty much ends the competitive portion of the game with a tap-in goal for Conor Sheary to make it 4-2.
That’s goals in back-to-back games for Sheary and his third multi-point game of the year. pic.twitter.com/0ZwpKmRFJ7— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 2, 2016
Eric Fehr scores on the empty net to seal the deal at 5-2.
But then Dallas quits playing defense and Nick Bonino takes advantage and scores his 3rd goal of the season.
- Guentzel a healthy scratch was somewhat surprising but consider that he's a rookie with minimal special teams time, playing in a physically and mentally demanding a league as possible with 2 games that started 23 hours a part. He also played 56 games last season (35 in college, 21 in the AHL) and has already played 21 total games this season in less than 2 months. His season, and development at large, is a marathon not a spring.
- And it's also a chance for Wilson not to go at least a week between games. Nice opportunity to give to see if he can add a spark (which, he didn't).
- Aside from just the goal (which was nice), Hornqvist had 7 shots on goal and was all over the place.
Kessel's 2 assists on the night mean that only Edmonton's Connor McDavid (20) has more in the entire league than ol' Phil (17) so far this season.Scratch that, they gave one assist to Sid
- Interestingly, a d-change for the mid-way through the 1st period, Brian Dumoulin back up with Kris Letang, Olli Maatta back with Trevor Daley. Didn't really pay immediate dividends with Dumo/Letang on the ice for the Stars first goal
- The end of the score looks like a blowout, and I suppose it was at the end, but for 55 minutes it was a very competitive one goal game.
- Not sure if many are talking about or noticing but Sheary with his speed and puck-skills is turning into a very nice complimentary player for Crosby. He's not just a one-trick pony like a Brian Gibbons or something, Sheary's a well-rounded player that's proving to be able to produce points consistently on a top NHL line.
- Also a quiet, but effective 2 assist night again for Justin Schultz who has been finding the score sheet with more regularity in recent weeks.
- Pens improve to 2-1-2 in the 2nd night of a back-to-back games. Not bad, all things considered. They certainly played better than last night against NYI, and got better goaltending from MAF as well.