Perhaps the story going into the game was the homecoming of Stars defenseman Stephen Johns. Born in Wampum, PA, 250 people from his hometown came to the game wearing Dallas’ bright green to support their friend and family member. Years ago, Johns told Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury that he might score a goal on him. Johns was going to try to make this a reality.
The two teams traded goals through the first and second periods of the game. Ian Cole went upstairs on Antti Niemi to put the Penguins up by a goal. Not three minutes later Johns shot a puck that found its way into the net behind Fleury. It was almost the perfect story, almost. The puck had deflected off of two Stars’ players in front of the net before finding the net. The goal would be credited to Devin shore. Patric Hornqvist scored his team leading fifth power play goal to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead seven minutes into the second. After a few tries on the power play, Seguin netted a power play goal that tied the game.
In the dying seconds of the second period, Sidney Crosby took matters into his own hands. As Conor Sheary entered the zone, he got the puck to Hornqvist Who took a shot on net. Sheary got the puck and slid it behind the net to Crosby. Crosby took a shot from behind the net with the intentions on banking it off of Niemi and into the net. The puck did ricochet off of Niemi, but didn’t go in. Crosby decided to take another try this time out of midair. It bounced off of Niemi and into the net, and gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead heading into the third.
The Penguins struggled to stay disciplined throughout the entire game. They gave a lethal Dallas power play three opportunities, but were lucky to only give up one goal.
The final three goals were scored by Sheary, Eric Fehr, and Nick Bonino all within two minutes of each other. Fehr’s was probably the most special. Fehr used his strength the fight to the empty net to score his 100th career goal. That is an amazing milestone considering the percentages of how many players reach that totals. The final score of the game showed a 6-2 blowout for the Penguins.
Something to take away from the game was the performance by Fleury. He was in regular season form, bailing out the Penguins’ defense multiple times. Fleury was a brick wall on odd man rushes. His performance was enough to earn himself first star of the game, edging out Crosby who had a spectacular three point performance. A bounce back game from Fleury is a huge boost to the team who feel like they have been letting him down.