The Pittsburgh Penguins are starting their annual dominance in the month of March, off to a 3-0 start since Olympic break.
Sidney Crosby scored twice and the Penguins scored 5 unanswered goals en route to a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars, Saturday afternoon.
Trailing 3-1 early in the the second period, the game quickly became a display of a superior team against an inferior team as Sidney Crosby and co, took advantage of inconsistent goaltending and defensive breakdowns from Dallas.
Chris Kunitz scored at 4:09 of the second period to make it 3-2 Dallas and Pascal Dupuis tied it up at 9:10 of the period, directing a pass from Kris Letang behind Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
Mid-way through the second period, Pittsburgh began to wear down the Stars and the team that knows how to win took over against a team that is still learning how to close out games.
Sidney Crosby scored the Penguins’ fourth and fifth goals, with 3:13 to play in the second and just 1:35 into the third period as Crosby shorthanded marker took the life out of the Stars who had surrendered four unanswered goals.
“The last game it was a matter of us playing really well and wearing the other team down,” Crosby said. “Today was just a matter of trying to regroup and respond after a not-so-good first half. They were kind different scenarios, but we came out in the second half, especially today, and tried to be a lot better. We got rewarded with some goals for it.”
Alex Ponikarovky closed out the Penguins scoring, netting his first goal (PPG) in a Penguins uniform at 15:13 in the third to give Pittsburgh a commanding 6-3 lead.
Pittsburgh frustrated the Stars who a number of power play opportunities, including a 5-on-3 opportunity to open the third period as Pittsburgh was 6-for-6 on the penalty kill and added a short-handed goal.
Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury was shaky to in the first half of the game but played well down the stretch to earn his first victory since Olympic break. Sidney Crosby talked after the game how he never lacks confidence in Fleury who was pulled in Thursday’s 5-4 OT win.
For Pittsburgh, they appear to be hitting their stride once again in March.