Pens fall to Kings 5 to 2!!!

Quick gets 301st win as Kings beat Penguins 5-2
By DAN GREENSPAN, Associated Pressed
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jonathan Quick got another memento to add to the plastic tub in his attic filled with pucks commemorating important achievements.
Quick stopped 38 shots to get his 301st win, leading the Kings to a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night, snapping the Penguins’ six-game road winning streak.
Quick tied Mike Richter for fourth place in career wins by an American goalie, reaching the mark in his 577th game and matching the former Rangers goalie’s total in 666 games.
“Well, obviously, to get here means I’ve been lucky enough to play with some good players and on some really good hockey teams. Yeah, it means a lot. It’s special,” Quick said of tying Richter.
Jeff Carter had a goal and two assists and Anze Kopitar scored twice for the Kings, who had lost four of their past five.
The Kings were determined to respond after a 4-1 loss to Ottawa on Thursday they derided as perhaps the worst performance of a disappointing season. They followed through, taking a lead 2-1 lead at 8:47 of the second period when Alex Iafallo was credited with his 10th goal after a centering pass by Carter struck him in the chest and went in.
Kopitar made it 3-1 at with 3:55 left with a short-handed goal.
Brendan Leipsic pushed the lead to 4-1 at 49 seconds of the third.
“Last game was embarrassing and the effort wasn’t there, so coming in tonight we wanted to throw in the effort obviously and the desperation level needed to win the game, and we did a good job,” said Kopitar, who added an empty-netter with 47 seconds remaining.
Quick mixed in his typical array of spectacular highlight saves, including a glove save on Riley Sheahan in the second period before the Kings jumped out in front and an acrobatic stop of Evgeni Malkin in the third period when the Penguins were making a charge.
“Being back there for us, it’s very comforting because he always gives us a chance and that’s what you want from your goaltender,” Kopitar said. “To see him get up there in his individual columns, if you will, it’s not surprising.”
Jake Guentzel scored short-handed and power-play goals and Casey DeSmith made 20 saves for the Penguins, who lost for the second time in their past 12 games.
Guentzel scored five goals in the back-to-back games against Anaheim and Los Angeles, but Pittsburgh was unable to continue the longest road winning streak in the NHL this season.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan was most concerned with allowing a league-worst 10th short-handed goal. Kris Letang made an off-balance backhand pass that led to a 2-on-1 break for Kopitar and Carter.
Sullivan isn’t ready to abandon the four-forward, one-defenseman personnel grouping that has worked so well for Pittsburgh, but cautioned the team could not be so careless with the puck going forward.
“It’s a lack of diligence in important parts of the rink,” Sullivan said. “Even though we’ve on the power play we have to have some conscience defensively, and it starts with our own puck possession.”
NOTES: Quick is 68 wins behind Tom Barrasso in third place. Ducks goalie Ryan Miller is tied with John Vanbiesbrouck for most wins by a U.S.-born goalie at 374. … Guentzel has seven goals and three assists during a six-game point streak. … Malkin got his eighth assist during a six-game streak.
UP NEXT
Penguins: Visit San Jose on Tuesday.
Kings: Visit Minnesota on Tuesday.
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Jake Guentzel’s hat trick sends Penguins past Ducks 7-4

Jake Guentzel’s hat trick sends Penguins past Ducks 7-4

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Ever since the Ducks won 4-2 in Pittsburgh on Dec. 17, the Penguins have been almost unbeatable and Anaheim hasn’t been able to win again anywhere.
When the Penguins got a rematch in Orange County on Friday night, Jake Guentzel and Phil Kessel made sure both teams continued on the same trajectories.
Guentzel scored three times, Kessel got the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and Pittsburgh rallied from an early three-goal deficit for a 7-4 victory over the Ducks, sending Anaheim to its 10th consecutive loss.
Tanner Pearson scored the tying goal midway through the third and added another with 3:25 left for the Penguins, who roared back with a four-goal third period for their 10th win in 11 games since that home loss to Anaheim. The Penguins didn’t think they deserved to be down 3-0 after the first period, and they swiftly showed why.
“We played a pretty good game,” Sidney Crosby said. “I know it was 3-0, but we still felt like we did some good things in the first period. … I think we just kept going the same way. We didn’t get away from our game or open up too much.”
Matt Murray stopped 21 shots, Evgeni Malkin added a goal and three assists, and Kessel had three points in a bountiful performance by Pittsburgh’s offensive stars. Guentzel scored two goals in the second period and added an empty-netter to wrap up his second hat trick of the season in a wild opener to Pittsburgh’s five-game West Coast road trip.
“I think it’s a good confidence-builder for us,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “We’re just hard to defend against. We have threats throughout our lineup. That’s the sign of a good hockey team, when you get different contributions at different times.”
Jakob Silfverberg scored a go-ahead, short-handed goal late in the second period, but the Ducks dropped to 0-7-3 since that win in Pittsburgh last month.
John Gibson made 29 saves against his hometown team, but was shredded in the third period along with Anaheim’s struggling defense.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said he’s never been through a losing streak to compare with his team’s current malaise.
“We just stopped playing” in the second period, Carlyle said. “It looked like we were out of gas. They were in a faster gear than we were. It seems like when we have to reach back for more energy or stiffness with our group, we’re unable to do it. We just seem to be lacking energy.”
Nick Ritchie, Ryan Getzlaf and Daniel Sprong scored in the first period, but the Ducks couldn’t maintain their start. Guentzel scored twice and Malkin got another as the Penguins erased Anaheim’s lead in an 11-minute span of the second period.
Pittsburgh then trailed 4-3 midway through the third before Pearson and Kessel scored 48 seconds apart. Kessel put the Pens ahead by taking the puck away from Jacob Larsson and shrugging off the defenseman’s checks to score on his own rebound.
Both of these longtime playoff contenders got off to slow starts this season, but only Pittsburgh has managed to maintain its recovery.
Although the Ducks’ four goals matched their total from their previous four games combined, Anaheim’s overall slump shows no signs of abating after an 0-3-3 homestand.
“We had it going early for a change tonight, and it was a good first period,” Ritchie said. “We get a three-goal lead and fall apart, I guess. We get some penalties, and their power play is good. We made it pretty easy on them. It doesn’t help taking penalties, and they kind of got the momentum. You can’t fall asleep against a team like Pittsburgh.”
NOTES: Crosby had one assist and didn’t record a shot on goal, but Sullivan praised his dominant performance. … Sprong was traded from Pittsburgh to Anaheim last month for defenseman Marcus Pettersson. He has six goals in his first 5½ weeks with the Ducks. … Guentzel recorded his fourth multi-goal game of the year and secured his second career 20-goal season. … Pittsburgh scratched Patric Hornqvist, who incurred an apparent concussion in Tuesday’s win over Florida. … Anaheim scratched forward Pontus Aberg for the second straight game. He was tied for the team lead with 11 goals, but hasn’t scored in his last seven appearances.
UP NEXT
Penguins: At the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, the second stop on a five-game Pacific Division swing.
Ducks: At the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday to open a five-game road trip.
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Blackhawks end Penguins’ winning streak at 8 games

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Dylan Strome broke a tie 1:48 into the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks beat Pittsburgh 5-3 on Sunday night to end the Penguins’ winning streak at eight games.

Strome scored seconds after a power-play expired, beating fallen goalie Casey DeSmith off a pass from Patrick Kane. Jonathan Toews added an empty-net goal and had an assist to run his points streak to six games.

Alex DeBrincat scored on a power play for his 19th of the season, and Chris Kunitz and Duncan Keith both scored their first for the Blackhawks. They won their 10th straight against the Penguins, including five straight in Pittsburgh. The Blackhawks haven’t lost to the Penguins since March 30, 2014, in Pittsburgh.

Chicago snapped a two-game skid and has won three of five and six of nine following an eight-game losing streak in November.

Kane had three assists. He’s the 20th player in NHL history and the first American-born skater to begin his career with at least 12 straight seasons with 30-plus assists. Cam Ward stopped 31 shots.

Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist and Derick Brassard scored for the Penguins, and DeSmith stopped 26 shots.

Pittsburgh scored twice in the first 4:33.

Hornqvist opened the scoring at 2:43 with a blocker-side, one-timer from the right faceoff dot, and Guentzel gave Pittsburgh a two-goal lead when he swept a rebound underneath Ward from the top of the crease.

DeBrincat put Chicago on the board with a power-play goal. He scored his eighth goal in 13 games on a one-timer from Kane.

Kunitz tied it for Chicago at 6:46 of the second period. Kunitz, who won three Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh, scored on a night when the Penguins honored their 2009 Stanley Cup championship team.

The Penguins regained the lead at 9:49 of the second when Brassard squeezed a one-timer from Phil Kessel between Ward’s pads from the right circle. Keith tied it at 3 with a slap shot from the left point just as a power play expired.

NOTES: Penguins’ D Kris Letang played in his 722nd career game, tied with Rick Kehoe for sixth on the franchise list. Letang’s assist gives him a seven-game points streak. … Chicago D Erik Gustafsson has a five-game points streak after registering an assist. . F Drake Caggiula made his Blackhawks debut after he was acquired in a trade with Edmonton on Dec. 31. … Penguins D Justin Schultz, who has not played since Oct. 13, skated on his own for the first time before Pittsburgh’s practice Saturday.

UP NEXT

Blackhawks: Host Calgary on Monday night.

Penguins: Host Florida on Tuesday night.

 

Murray helps Penguins beat Rangers 7-2 for 7th straight win

NEW YORK (AP) — Matt Murray stopped 28 shots to keep up his strong play since returning from an injury, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Rangers 7-2 Wednesday night for their season-high seventh straight win.

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jake Guentzel, Kris Letang and Dominik Simon each had a goal and an assist. Zach Aston-Reese and Tanner Pearson also scored to help the Penguins win for the ninth time in 10 games. Patric Hornqvist had two assists.

Murray improved to 6-0 with a 1.49 goals-against average in six games since coming back from a lower-body injury on Dec. 15. He also moved to 8-0 in his career against the Rangers, including the playoffs.

Ryan Strome and Pavel Buchnevich scored for the Rangers, who were 2-0-2 in their previous four games and 2-0-5 in their past seven at home.

Henrik Lundqvist, picked as an All-Star for the fifth time earlier in the day, gave up six goals on 18 shots before he was pulled less than five minutes into the third period. Alexandar Georgiev replaced him and finished with six saves.

Malkin pushed Pittsburgh’s lead to 5-1 with his 13th goal at 1:03 of the third. He brought the puck up the middle, lost control of it as he skated through some Rangers defenders and then made a lunging poke to send it through Lundqvist’s legs before sliding into the goalie.

Buchnevich pulled the Rangers back within three just 19 seconds later, putting the puck past Murray from the right side for his seventh.

However, Pearson beat Lundqvist with a shot into the top right corner on a power play for his fifth at 4:40. That ended Lundqvist’s night.

Crosby, selected an All-Star for the eighth time, made it 7-2 with 6:04 left.

After a scoreless first period, the Penguins took control with four goals in the second — including three in a 5:51 stretch midway through.

Aston-Reese, a native New Yorker facing the Rangers for the first time, got the Penguins on the scoreboard first. He took a pass from Matt Cullen from behind the end line, settled the puck off his skate and beat Lundqvist for his sixth at 6:29.

Guentzel, who signed a five-year, $30 million contract extension last week, doubled the lead with a shot from the left circle that deflected up off Rangers defenseman Marc Staal’s stick into the left corner for his 17th with 8:39 left in the period.

Letang made it 3-0 as he skated up the left side, cut to the net and fired the puck past Lundqvist for his ninth with 7:40 left.

Strome got the Rangers on the scoreboard only 26 seconds later with a deflection of Brady Skjei’s shot past Murray. It was Strome’s fourth goal, and third in 20 games with New York since being acquired from Edmonton.

Simon restored Pittsburgh’s three-goal lead as he beat Lundqvist on the blocker side for his fifth with 4:15 remaining in the middle period.

NOTES: Crosby matched a career high with his fifth straight multipoint game. He has three goals and nine assists during that stretch, and four goals and 14 assists in his last 10 games. … Pittsburgh forward Phil Kessel was held without a point, ending a streak of three consecutive three-point games. He had three goals and six assists during that span. … The teams play three more times this season: on Feb. 17 at Pittsburgh, March 25 back in New York, and April 6 at Pittsburgh. … Staal appeared in his 800th regular-season game, becoming the 10th player in franchise history to play that many with the Rangers. Staal also joined brothers Eric (1,130) and Jordan (872) to become the first trio of siblings in NHL history to each play at least 800.

UP NEXT

Penguins: Host Winnipeg on Friday night to open a three-game homestand.

Rangers: At Colorado on Friday night to begin a three-game road trip.