Penguins Hold Off Stars – McCann Scores Twice

DALLAS — Jared McCann scored twice, including the go-ahead goal on a spinning short-handed play in the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Saturday night.

McCann has 11 goals in 26 games since coming over in a trade with Florida, and now leads the Penguins with three short-handed goals. He has four overall this season.

The Penguins stayed even with the New York Islanders for second place in the Metropolitan Division with 93 points, a point behind Washington.

The Stars finished a five-game homestand with their fourth loss, three in regulation. Dallas holds the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference by two points over Colorado with Minnesota a point behind the Avalanche.

Dallas was looking for its first lead after Jack Johnson was called for holding and the Penguins were just trying to clear the puck when Teddy Blueger poked it away from John Klingberg at centre ice. McCann took the pass as he was spinning and flipped the puck over Anton Khudobin.

Matt Murray, who made 29 saves, kept the Penguins in front by stopping a shot from Tyler Seguin and keeping the puck between his legs behind him as he was sprawled on the ice with Alexander Radulov trying to poke it into the net.

Matt Murray, Alexander Radulov
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray stops Dallas Stars right wing Alexander Radulov. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Stars had a 6-on-4 advantage for the final 80 seconds after Bryan Rust was called for holding, but couldn’t get one past Murray. Khudobin had 27 saves.

Jake Guentzel opened the scoring with his team-leading 38th goal for Pittsburgh in the first period.

The Stars scored two tying goals in the second. Seguin easily beat Murray on a cross-ice feed from Radulov barely a minute into the period. Andrew Cogliano pulled Dallas even at 2-2 with 80 seconds left by beating Murray in transition after taking a pass in stride from Klingberg.

The Penguins had a goal waved off in the second period when Teddy Blueger was called for goalie interference Erik Gudbranson’s shot from outside the circle. Gudbranson’s chance came after a wild scramble in front of the net ended with Taylor Fedun sweeping the puck out the crease when Khudobin was beaten.

NOTES: Stars D Jamie Oleksiak was a healthy scratch in his first game against Pittsburgh since the Penguins traded him back to Dallas in January. The Stars sent Oleksiak to the Penguins in December 2017. Both deals involved a fourth-round pick. … Not long after scoring the game’s first goal, Guentzel was stopped on a one-timer right in front of Khudobin. … Stars F Jason Spezza was a healthy scratch for the second time in three games.


Penguins: Finish four-game trip Monday at the New York Rangers.

Stars: Start four-game Canadian swing Monday at Winnipeg.


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Schuyler Dixon, The Associated Press