PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jason Robertson’s hard work in the crease gave the star forward his first goal of the season. His diving effort on a loose puck in the offensive zone helped put the game away.
Robertson set up Thomas Harley’s third-period goal and Wyatt Johnston scored later in the period to help the Dallas Stars beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Tuesday night.
“He was excellent tonight,” Stars coach Peter DeBoer said. “He’s a game-breaking guy. When he’s feeling it like he was, you can tell that he was in one of those zones where he was going to be a difference-maker.”
Bryan Rust scored the first goal for Pittsburgh, but Dallas had the next four. The Stars haven’t lost in regulation yet this season.
Robertson, who scored 46 goals last season, scored his first on Tuesday, as did Evgenii Dadonov before third-period goals from Harley and Johnston.
“I haven’t gotten many scoring chances lately, so hopefully I can keep that confidence going and get rolling and start to feel it,” Robertson said.
Jake Oettinger stopped 38 shots for the Stars, who won their third straight. Dallas has won four of its first five games this season.
“Once (Robertson) scored, I think everybody kind of took a breath and we just played our game,” DeBoer said.
Penguins defenseman John Ludvig, making his NHL debut, left with an injury at 10:41 of the second period. He was briefly knocked unconscious following a collision at center ice with Stars forward Radek Faksa. Ludvig, who was claimed off waivers from Florida before the season started, lay face down, motionless on the ice for several minutes while trainers and medical staff from both teams attended to him. He was eventually helped to his feet and skated from the ice with assistance from teammates Marcus Pettersson and Noel Acciari.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said that Ludvig was being evaluated.
“It’s a scary moment when you see a player like that,” Sullivan said. “Those are scary to watch. We’re hopeful he’s going to be OK.”
Rust scored his fifth goal in six games for the Penguins, who lost their third straight. Pittsburgh has lost four of its first six games this season. The Penguins’ power play, which is 2-for-16 this season, went 0-for-3 on Tuesday and hasn’t scored in four games.
Alex Nedeljkovic made 30 saves.
“Guys are frustrated because they want to get results,” Sullivan said. “These guys are competitive guys and they care an awful lot. When it doesn’t go the right way, of course frustration sets in.”
Harley put Dallas in front 3-1 at 5:22 of the third period. Nedeljkovic strayed from his crease to poke a loose puck away, but a diving Robertson got to it first and the puck eventually reached Harley, who put it into a partially open net. Johnston capped the scoring at 13:51 following a net-mouth scramble.
CROSBY CHASES HISTORY
Sidney Crosby, who assisted on Rust’s first goal of the game, is now one assist from entering into the top 15 in NHL history in career assists.
Crosby leads all active players with 955 career assists. With one more assist, Crosby will tie former Penguin Mark Recchi. Crosby is 45 assists from becoming the 14th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 career assists.
Stars: Host Toronto on Thursday.
Penguins: Continue a four-game homestand on Thursday against Colorado.
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