PITTSBURGH (AP) — Evgeni Malkin pounced on a loose puck and fired it into the net with 35 seconds remaining to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins by the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Monday night.
Malkin's ninth goal of the year came after Bryan Rust's shot attempt from in close was poke-checked away. While Rust's momentum carried him into Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger, Malkin flipped the puck into the open net to push Pittsburgh's winning streak to six.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph scored his first goal of the season for Pittsburgh. Tristan Jarry stopped 26 shots to improve to 9-0-2 in his last 11 starts.
Roope Hintz collected his 12th goal of the season for Dallas. Oettinger made 23 saves but had no chance on Malkin's winner after Rust essentially spun Oettinger around after the two collided at the top of the crease.
A showdown between rising Dallas star Jason Robertson — who came in as the NHL's second-leading goal scorer behind Edmonton's Connor McDavid — and Penguins captain Sidney Crosby offered the promise of a shootout.
Robertson was held without a shot for the second time this season and Crosby mustered only two in 19 minutes of ice time as two of the league's highest-scoring teams took a more defensive-minded approach in a game of tight checking and limited chances.
Hintz needed just 19 seconds to give the Stars the lead, swooping behind the Pittsburgh net to the right circle and finding himself in the right spot when a long shot from the point by Nils Lundkvist deflected off Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang right to Hintz's stick. Hintz zipped a shot between Jarry's legs to provide Dallas with an early boost.
Jarry quickly settled down and Joseph evened the score with a pretty wrist shot the left circle that found its way around a perfect screen by teammate Jason Zucker and into the net 13:14 into the first for Joseph's second career goal and first since Feb. 6, 2021.
The goal marked the sixth straight game the Penguins have scored with the man advantage, a significant step forward for a unit that for all of its star power struggled to generate much of anything during the season's opening six weeks.
Jarry and Oettinger both made several big saves to keep things even for most of the game. The pressure turned up on both ends late. Jarry made a handful of stops to turn away the Stars in the final minutes and when the Penguins launched a counter in the waning seconds, Malkin delivered.
Stars: Continue their five-game road trip on Tuesday in New Jersey.
Penguins: Travel to Florida to face the Panthers on Thursday.
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