DALLAS (AP) — What could have been a bitter end to a dismal road trip turned into an emphatic win for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
Matt Murray made 25 saves for his first shutout of the season, Dominik Kahun and Bryan Rust scored their first goals in the third period and Pittsburgh beat the Dallas Stars 3-0.
Dallas had dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Penguins 22-11, but neither team scored.
“We had one bad period, the second,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “I didn’t think we won a lot of puck battles in the second period. We had a discussion about that between periods. Our guys responded really well.”
Really well — the Penguins outshot the Stars 16-3 and scored three goals in the third.
The Penguins had lost three straight games, including the first two in a three-game trip.
Brandon Tanev added an empty-net goal with 1:14 to play.
“We got a little away from our game,” rookie John Marino said. “We got back to it in the third and we were able to capitalize on our opportunities.”
Those opportunities led to two close-in goals against Ben Bishop in a span of 2:12 in the third. Bishop stopped 24 shots.
On the first goal, Bishop whiffed at clearing the puck from behind the net. Kahun passed out to Sam Lafferty, whose shot trickled under the supine Bishop. Kahun knocked the puck in from the right side at 7:29.
“I went to go play it,” Bishop said, “and accidentally kind of hit it backwards while I was trying to hit it forward. The guy made the play up front. I thought I made the save on my side. I somehow pushed it underneath myself right on the guy’s tape.”
Kahun’s first goal came in his 12th NHL game.
“Somehow, (the puck) bounced back to me,” he said. “It’s always good to get that first one.”
Sullivan wasn’t surprised.
“It’s great for Dominik. We felt like he’s been around it the last handful of games.”
The second goal came when sixth-year veteran Rust scored amid a scramble in front. Rust was playing in his first game since being injured in the final preseason game.
The Stars were seeking their fourth win in a row. The Penguins squelched that.
“You saw a team that has won two Stanley Cups and their mindset to start the third,” Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said. “They came out and shoved it right down our throat.”
Murray had kept the game scoreless by stopping 22 shots in the first two periods.
Murray made glove saves to stop Denis Gurianov and Jamie Benn in the first.
Dallas had a flurry with seven minutes left in the second period, but Murray stopped a short-range shot by Alexander Radulov and a wrist shot by Justin Dowling after he had shot wide and retrieved the puck.
NOTES: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby did not come out to begin the third period after being hit by a shot late in the second, but he returned within the first three minutes. “We’re always concerned when someone gets hit by a shot the way he did, but he was able to come back to the game,” Sullivan said. “We’ll continue to evaluate him.”… Dallas Ds Esa Lindell and Taylor Fedun both left the ice for a time after pucks hit them in the face. Lindell had a cut below his nose, and Fedun was struck in the left cheek. … Murray’s 11th career shutout tied him with Les Binkley for the third-most in Penguins history. . John Marino assisted on Rust’s goal for his first NHL point.
Penguins: Return home to play Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Stars: Complete a four-game homestand on Tuesday against Minnesota.