The Stars were lucky enough to get the first goal on a defensive breakdown by Kris Letang. He didn't cover Nystrom going to the net, and when Dvorak made a great backhand pass from a bad angle, Nystrom buried it. The problem was that the Stars then tried to win a 1-0 hockey game. That works if you're late in the second or in the third period, but they were in the first.
The other problem the Stars had was taking dumb penalties, and the Pens made them pay for doing it. All three goals were either power play goals or a penalty shot. This was a winnable game for the Stars if they stay out of the box and push a little more offensively. I'm glad they didn't do either one.
Neal (10, 11), Cooke (5)
- James Neal on the power play with two goals. Both were "hockey justice" goals in that the Pens had a goal disallowed twice (both by Chris Kunitz) and Neal scored shortly after each one.
- Matt Cooke scored on the first penalty shot of his career. He certainly has turned things around this season, hasn't he?
- The defense for the Pens was great, holding Dallas to just 11 shots through two periods.
- Alex Goligoski leaving with an injury. He played just 6:48. That was disappointing - I hope he's not hurt seriously.
- Joe Vitale drawing a penalty for goaltender interference when he was pretty clearly pushed into the goalie. Eric Tangradi was cross-checked in the head by Souray on the exact same sequence. Both were bad, but Souray's shot was cheap too.
- How on earth did they overturn the Kunitz deflection? They ruled the puck was above the crossbar. He's the problem - the puck deflected off of the TOP side of Kunitz's stick and still made it in under the crossbar. How can a puck deflect off the top of a surface and then go down? (answer: it can't in any way that I can think of) Really bad call by Toronto.
What's their record now?
The Pens are 10-3-3.
A quick trip down to Carolina to face the Hurricanes on Saturday night.