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Eriksson’s 2 Goals Lead Stars Past Penguins

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DALLAS (AP) – Loui Eriksson scored twice — including a penalty-shot goal — Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves, and the Dallas Stars earned a fight-filled 5-2 victory over Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

A frustrated Crosby, who entered the night with only four penalty minutes this season and rarely fights, squared off against Matt Niskanen at 12:33 of the second period while Pittsburgh trailed 4-1.

That was one of four bouts in the first two periods.

Stephane Robidas and Brad Richards each had a goal and an assist for Dallas. Steve Ott added a goal, and James Neal had two assists for the Stars.

Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke scored for the Penguins, who opened a stretch of three games in four nights against Western Conference opponents.

Brent Johnson stopped 24 shots for Pittsburgh, which has lost four of five (1-3-1). Johnson went 5-0-1 in his first six starts this season and was coming off his 14th NHL shutout in his previous outing Saturday at Carolina.

Dallas dropped the first three of a season-high six-game homestand, but has won the last two.

The Stars got off to a fast start, holding a 12-4 shots advantage in the first period and gaining early momentum when Robidas’ shot from the right point got past Johnson at 3:51.

Richards’ one-timer from the left circle off a setup by Neal made it 2-0 at 7:57 of the first.

The Stars got another lift when they killed off a 5-on-3 advantage that lasted 1:37 later in the period.

Kennedy’s backhander off a faceoff sneaked past Lehtonen to make it 2-1 at 6:20 of the second, but Ott popped a shot into an open net off Robidas’ setup to restore the two-goal advantage at 10:52.

Eriksson was awarded his first career penalty shot at 11:51 of the second when he was he was hauled down by Alex Goligoski on a breakaway. Eriksson faked Johnson out of position and tapped a backhander into an open net to make it 4-1.

The Penguins thought they had cut the deficit to 4-2 at 16:52 of the second period on Mike Comrie’s redirected goal. After a video review, officials ruled that Comrie guided the puck into the net with his glove and waved off the goal.

Cooke’s goal at 15:36 of the third period made it 5-2.

Dallas’ Jamie Benn exchanged punches with Kennedy in the first period, and Benn also tangled with Chris Kunitz in the second. Stars captain Brenden Morrow and Kris Letang of the Penguins joined the undercard in the second period.

Notes: The Penguins got reinforcements on defense with the return of Letang (hand and wrist), Zbynek Michalek (shoulder) and Goligoski (undisclosed injury). Pittsburgh C Evgeni Malkin was also back after sitting out Saturday’s win over Carolina due to a bruised knee. C Jordan Staal will be out until the middle of December (broken hand). … Elvis Andrus and Jorge Cantu from the AL champion Texas Rangers, were in the crowd and were pictured on the big screen during a break in the second period. They were loudly cheered, and saluted the fans with the team’s signature antlers sign. … This was the only meeting between these teams this season. Dallas had been 0-4-1 in the previous five matchups.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)