Stars come back in third to nip Pens

Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby battles for the puck with Dallas' Jason Spezza. (AP)

DALLAS (AP) – Antoine Roussel capped Dallas’ three-goal third period and the Stars rallied for a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

The loss dropped second-place Pittsburgh seven points behind Eastern Conference and Metropolitan Division leader Washington.

Dallas entered the game nine points behind the second wild card in the West and in a selling mode that had sent three veteran players to contenders in trades.

Pittsburgh led 2-0 on goals by Evgeni Malkin in the first period and Jake Guentzel in the second.

Brett Ritchie scored the Stars’ first goal at 3:40 of the third. Jason Spezza tied the game at 9:41 with a shot that was deflected high and off Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin into the net.

Just 55 seconds later, Roussel put a wrist shot past goalie Matt Murray from the left faceoff circle.

Stars goalie Antti Niemi made 18 saves.

Murray had 29 saves for the Penguins.

Roussel had a goal and an assist. John Klingberg had two assists for the Stars, who are 3-1 in their past four games.

The Stars were without Johnny Oduya (traded to Chicago on Tuesday) and Jordie Benn (to Montreal on Monday). They also sent Patrick Eaves to Anaheim. Greg Pateryn, acquired for Benn, arrived in Dallas on Tuesday, but was inactive for the game.

The Stars had a good chance barely two minutes into the game, when Murray stopped Ritchie’s snap shot on a 3-on-1 break. Pittsburgh’s best early chance came seven minutes in, when Niemi stopped Phil Kessel 1-on-1.

At 10:04, the Penguins’ third shot went into the net. Patric Hornqvist sent a backhand pass from behind the goal line to Malkin at the left of the net, and he beat Niemi with a wrist shot.

On the game’s first power play nearly five minutes into the second period, Murray saved Tyler Seguin’s wrist shot on a breakaway.

The Penguins increased their lead to 2-0 at 10:40 of the second. Ian Cole’s shot from the top of the slot hit Niemi. The rebound got behind him, and Guentzel swept the puck into the net.

Ritchie’s goal followed a shot by Klingberg that went off Murray’s glove. Ritchie skated down the slot and put in the rebound. His 11th goal this season was the 17th of his career in his 100th NHL game.


Penguins D Kris Letang (upper-body injury) missed his 20th of 61 games played this season. He did not make the current trip. … Niemi was making his first start since Feb. 14 at Winnipeg. … Dallas’ Lauri Korpikoski played in his 600th game.