Stars Hold On for 2-1 Win Over Penguins

Brett Ritchie and Jamie Benn scored 1:23 apart in the second period, and the Dallas Stars held on to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Thursday night.

Benn set up Ritchie's deflection goal at 2:15 of the second, and put his own rebound past Marc-Andre Fleury at 3:37 for a 2-0 lead.

Kris Letang scored the Penguins' second power-play goal in nine games at 13:26 of the second. They have scored only twice in losing their last four games.

Dallas' Kari Lehtonen made 15 of his 31 saves in the third period to preserve his 30th win of the season. Fleury had 24 saves.

The Stars won for the sixth time in their last eight games to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. With 11 games remaining, they are eight points away from the Western Conference's final wild-card spot.

Dallas dominated play for most of the first period, but couldn't score. The Stars outshot Pittsburgh 11-7, with three of the Penguins' shots coming during a power play with less than 4 minutes remaining. Lehtonen stopped Blake Comeau from short range on Pittsburgh's best opportunity.

Ritchie scored the game's first goal. Benn caught up with a loose puck along the left-wing boards and passed in front, where Ritchie deflected it off defenseman Beau Bennett's stick and past Fleury.

Benn scored just 1:23 later. Tyler Seguin passed in front to Benn and Fleury stopped the first shot with his pads, but Benn retrieved the puck and maneuvered around the prone goalie to tap it into the net.

Pittsburgh's first goal came 8 seconds into the power play on Letang's wrist shot from the left point.

Lehtonen's best save in the third period came with the teams skating 4-on-4. The goalie stopped Christian Ehrhoff's drive from the right point and smothered the rebound before Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz could get to it.

The Penguins pulled Fleury twice during the final 2 minutes. Dallas just missed two empty-net goals in the last 11 seconds, forcing faceoffs in the Stars' end.

NOTES: Pittsburgh C Evgeni Malkin (lower-body injury) missed his third straight game, and RW Patric Hornqvist (undisclosed) was out for the second game in a row. They have totaled 51 goals and 62 assists this season. ... Stars D John Klingberg (upper body) returned after missing three games. ... Dallas C Cody Eakin earned his 100th career point with an assist on Benn's goal. ... Letang had not scored a goal in his previous 15 games. ... The Penguins had been 1 for 24 on the power play before Letang's goal, and had scored only one goal on 108 shots in the previous three games. ... The Stars swept the season series 2-0, and are 3-0-1 in their last four home games vs. Pittsburgh.

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