Sidney Crosby broke the game’s final tie and assisted on another score in the third period as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Dallas Stars 6-2 on Thursday night.
Crosby scored his league-leading 16th goal in the second period and assisted on Conor Sheary’s sixth as Pittsburgh scored three goals in the final 4 minutes. Eric Fehr’s third of the season was the 100th of his career and Patric Hornqvist’s seventh came on the power play. Nick Bonino and Ian Cole both scored their third for Pittsburgh, which avoided consecutive regulation losses for the first time this season.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for Pittsburgh. Fleury, who won for the first time in five starts, has six wins in his last nine home games.
Tyler Seguin scored his eighth and Devin Shore his second for the Stars, who continue to struggle on the road. Dallas has lost its previous five away from home and has three wins in 14 road games this season. The Stars have lost three straight and seven of their last 10.
Antti Niemi, playing in his 400th career game, stopped 34 shots.
Crosby’s highlight-reel goal came in the final 30 seconds of the second period. Crosby, from behind the goal, initially tried to bank a shot off Niemi, but when that failed, he batted his own rebound off the Stars goaltender and into the net. In the third period, Crosby dished a backhander during a 2-on-1 to Sheary, who tapped it in to clinch the win.
Crosby has 16 goals in 18 games after missing the first six because of a concussion. He has six goals and 12 points in his last eight games.
Pittsburgh is 7-0 following a regulation loss and 16-0-1 after the previous 17 regulation defeats dating to last season. Pittsburgh snapped a four-game skid against the Stars.
The Penguins, who won nine of their first 13 games, seek better consistency in December after winning just five of their previous 11. The defending Stanley Cup champions were an inconsistent group throughout the majority of November, alternating wins and losses most of the month.
Stars’ defenseman Stephen Johns, a Pittsburgh native playing his first game against his hometown team, took the initial shot on Shore’s goal and was credited with the second assist.
Seguin has 13 points in his last 14 games. Jason Spezza, who set up the goal, has 48 points in 41 career games against Pittsburgh.
Penguins F Scott Wilson replaced Jake Guentzel in the lineup. ... Penguins F Chris Kunitz is skating, and getting closer to a return, but missed his sixth straight with a lower-body injury. ... Penguins’ D Trevor Daley, who played 11 seasons in Dallas, faced his former team for the first time on Thursday. ... The Stars complete a four-game road trip Saturday at Colorado. ... The Penguins continue a three-game homestand Saturday against Detroit.
First Period—1, Pittsburgh, Cole 2 (Kessel, Schultz), 8:47. 2, Dallas, Shore 2 (Eaves, Johns), 11:25. Penalties—Benn, DAL, (hooking), 2:52; Eaves, DAL, (interference), 7:38; Letang, PIT, (hooking), 7:47; Kuhnhackl, PIT, (tripping), 14:44.
Second Period—3, Pittsburgh, Hornqvist 6 (Crosby, Malkin), 7:43 (pp). 4, Dallas, Seguin 8 (Spezza, Klingberg), 11:21 (pp). 5, Pittsburgh, Crosby 16 (Sheary, Hornqvist), 19:38. Penalties—Seguin, DAL, (tripping), 6:35; Benn, DAL, (delay of game), 6:47; Fehr, PIT, (interference), 9:35.
Third Period—6, Pittsburgh, Sheary 6 (Crosby, Schultz), 16:22. 7, Pittsburgh, Fehr 3 (Kuhnhackl), 17:14. 8, Pittsburgh, Bonino 2 (Wilson, Cole), 17:55. Penalties—Oleksiak, DAL, (hooking), 2:54.
Shots on Goal—Dallas 14-12-9—35. Pittsburgh 12-13-15—40. Power-play opportunities—Dallas 1 of 3; Pittsburgh 1 of 5. Goalies—Dallas, Niemi 5-3-3 (39 shots-34 saves). Pittsburgh, Fleury 7-5-3 (35-33). A—18,420 (18,387). T—2:28.