The Dallas Stars played the perfect road game…until the final 35 seconds.
Tied at one, pouring on the chances and pressure late in the Pittsburgh end, the Stars watched the Penguins go the other way. After Bryan Rust drove the net and was thwarted by the poke check of Jake Oettinger, Evgeni Malkin finished off the rebound into a yawning cage, giving Pittsburgh the very late 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish.
MALKIN MAGIC IN THE WANING SECONDS OF THE GAME! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/A1OFUTmM88
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 13, 2022
"I just thought we gave them too much room," Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said about the Malkin goal. "That point of the game, you don't want to give them entry and allow them to that point. I wish we would've shut it down quicker."
Dallas started things off with a bang, as the top line of Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson, and Joe Pavelski got things going on the very first shift of the game. A deflection off a Penguins player in front bounced over to Hintz, who beat Tristan Jarry five hole just 19 seconds in.
ROOPE HINTZ 19 SECONDS IN!
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 13, 2022
The Pens answered late in the period with a power-play goal but the Stars controlled much of the play throughout the contest. Although, the stats were nearly identical across the board.
A low-scoring, defensive, and territorial game was exactly what Dallas wanted against a streaking Pens team on the first night of a very difficult back-to-back.
The Stars held Pittsburgh to only 26 shots and under 10 scoring chances, while pushing the pace and creating plenty of opportunities around the Penguins net. Jarry stopped 26 straight shots after allowing the lone early goal.
This loss is heartbreaking for Dallas, who will likely feel they deserved a better fate. Finishing with zero points after the performance they put on will leave a bad taste in their mouth and should provide a chip on their shoulder as they take on the NHL-leading New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.
"Pretty good road game for 19 and a half minutes. We made mistake at the end there," DeBoer said. "Did a lot of good things, had chances to score some goals. Would have liked to give Oettinger a little offensive support, I think there were goals out there. We didn't execute. We had some 2-on-1s, things like that that could've changed the game. We had a solid road effort."
Sam’s Three Stars
- First Star: Evgeni Malkin, PIT (game winner)
- Second Star: Tristan Jarry, PIT (26 saves on 27 shots)
- Third Star: Roope Hintz, DAL (1 goal)