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Stars Vs. Penguins: After Two Periods, Pittsburgh Evens It At 1-1 On James Neal's Power Play Goal

The Penguins, points leaders in the Eastern Conference, look to take down the Western Conference leading Dallas Stars at Consol Energy Center.

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After two periods, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars are tied as the Pens look to break a four game winning streak against the NHL's hottest team. The Stars took a 1-0 lead after an Eric Nystrom goal with just over four minutes to play in the first. The Pens would control the action for much of the second period but were not able to convert until a Jamie Benn hooking penalty with a little over three minutes to play in the second put the Pens on the power play.

The Pens immediately put the pressure on and appeared to even the game. Evgeni Malkin fired a rocket towards the net and Chris Kunitz was right in front to deflect it in. It was quickly ruled no goal on the ice but went up to Toronto for review, with decisive evidence needed to overturn the call. The call was upheld when the ref maintained that Kunitz's stick touched the puck above the crossbar. It was certainly a close call, as Kunitz's stick looked to be at the level of the goalie's mask.

Just seconds later, on the same power play, the Pens would even it up when James Neal, against his old team, would put one on net and have it trickle through the wickets of Stars' goalie Kari Lehtonen. Neal, who came over in a trade from Dallas, increased his team leading total to 10 goals in this young season. The third period figures to be a dandy as these two conference leaders look to break the 1-1 tie.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.