Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn and center Roope Hintz,...

Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn and center Roope Hintz, right, celebrate after Benn scored in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Dallas, Friday, March 22, 2024. Credit: AP/Tony Gutierrez

DALLAS — Jamie Benn scored twice in a 1:17 span to extend his goal streak to a season-best three games, and the Dallas Stars beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 on Friday night.

The Dallas captain is up to 15 goals on the season, with six in the past eight games, as the Stars finished 3-2 on a five-game homestand, the last of three that were their longest of the season.

The Stars and Colorado have a Central Division-leading 95 points, with Winnipeg trailing by two points while holding two games in hand on Dallas and one on the Avalanche.

Dallas has eight wins in 10 games, and the Avalanche extended their winning streak to eight games with a 6-1 victory over Columbus on Friday night. The Jets just had a three-game winning streak stopped.

“Everyone else keeps winning,” said Benn, whose team plays its final six road games of the regular season in the next seven. “So it’s important for us to take advantage of these home games.”

Michael Bunting scored on Pittsburgh's third shot, but Jake Oettinger stopped the next 12 before Rickard Rakell's goal midway through the third period for the final margin.

Oettinger had 20 saves, including a pad stop on a wide-open Rakell when the lead was 3-1 in the second period.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby looks down to goaltender Tristan...

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby looks down to goaltender Tristan Jarry before a face off in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars in Dallas, Friday, March 22, 2024. Credit: AP/Tony Gutierrez

The Penguins — in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005-06 — dropped to 2-10-2 in their past 14 road games.

“I like the way the team started,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “I thought there were instances where we needed to defend harder. I thought we had opportunities on the other end of the rink offensively where we simply have to execute and finish.”

Joe Pavelski's 25th goal pulled Dallas even in the first period, and Jason Robertson had his 47th and 48th assists for his fifth multipoint game in the past seven.

Sam Steel's goal early in the third period chased Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 20 shots. Alex Nedeljkovic replaced Jarry.

Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) and Esa Lindell (23)...

Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) and Esa Lindell (23) defend against a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins' Drew O'Connor (10) in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Friday, March 22, 2024. Credit: AP/Tony Gutierrez

“I’m not going to get into the reasons why,” Sullivan said of pulling Jarry. “But there were a number of reasons why I thought it was the right decision at that particular time for the team.”

Benn beat Jarry on the power play with a wrister off the inside of the post in the second period to put the Stars in front for good 22 seconds after Rakell was called for hooking.

The next goal for Benn came in transition when the 34-year-old shuffled the puck toward Jarry with Wyatt Johnston at the top of the crease and it went between the goalie's legs.

The Dallas victory was the second in a row for Oettinger after getting pulled in a 6-2 loss to New Jersey and not starting the next game even with a day off in between.

The 25-year-old is on pace for a career high in goals-against average and a career low in save percentage.

“He’s been hard on himself,” Robertson said. “But he’s been practicing hard, been on the ice, getting refocused. He showed up big tonight, and he’s going to build on it.”

UP NEXT

Penguins: At Colorado on Sunday to wrap up a three-game trip.

Stars: Dallas takes a three-game road winning streak into Arizona for the opener of a four-game trip Sunday. The Stars beat the Coyotes 5-2 in Dallas on Wednesday.

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.