Penguins end long winless drought in Boston; beat Bruins 4-1

Penguins end long winless drought in Boston; beat Bruins 4-1
KEN POWTAK Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Mike Matheson scored a highlight-reel goal after a lengthy rush, and the surging Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long winless drought in Boston with a 4-1 victory over the Bruins. Zach Aston-Reese, Jason Zucker and Jake Guentzel also scored for the Penguins, who won their fifth straight game and improved to 11-2-1 in their last 14. Casey DeSmith stopped 30 shots as Pittsburgh won in Boston for the first time since an overtime win Nov. 24, 2014, ending an 0-8-2 stretch since then. The Bruins had gone 12-0-1 in their last 13 games in TD Garden against the Penguins. Brad Marchand scored his 14th goal and rookie goalie Dan Vladar stopped 19 shots in his third career start for Boston, which had collected at least a point in five of its previous six games (4-1-1).

DeSmith stars in relief, Penguins edge Islanders 2-1

DeSmith stars in relief, Penguins edge Islanders 2-1
By WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Casey DeSmith made 19 saves after starter Tristan Jarry’s mysterious exit and the Pittsburgh Penguins held off the New York Islanders 2-1. Jarry left after the first period and DeSmith filled in by holding the Islanders at bay as Pittsburgh pulled even with New York in the East Division. Jared McCann scored his eighth goal of the season and Anthony Angello collected the first power-play goal of his career for the Penguins. Matt Martin scored his seventh of the season for the Islanders and Semyon Varlamov made 20 saves but couldn’t stop New York from getting swept during its final two-game set in Pittsburgh.

Penguins extend Sabres’ winless streak to 16 straight

Penguins extend Sabres’ winless streak to 16 straight
By WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jared McCann scored a pair of power-play goals, Casey DeSmith made 36 saves and the Pittsburgh Penguins extended Buffalo’s winless streak to 16 straight with a 4-0 victory. Radim Zohorna picked up a goal on his first shot in the NNHL for the Penguins. Jake Guentzel added an empty-netter and Sidney Crosby had three assists to raise his career point total to 1,300. Buffalo general manager Kevyn Adams served as head coach after interim Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis were placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol a few hours before the opening faceoff.

Sabres GM Adams steps in as coach due to COVID-19 protocols

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams is getting an up-close look at the rebuilding job on his hands. Adams served as the team’s head coach against Pittsburgh after interim head coach Don Granato and Matt Ellis were placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. The Sabres are riding a 15-game winless streak, the longest in the NHL since 2004.

Sabres’ winless streak hits 15 as Penguins roll to 5-2 win

Sabres’ winless streak hits 15 as Penguins roll to 5-2 win
By WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Sidney Crosby picked up his 13th goal of the season and the Pittsburgh Penguins extended Buffalo’s winless streak to 15 games with a 5-2 victory.  Evan Rodrigues, Kris Letang, John Marino and Zach-Aston Reese also scored for the Penguins. Pittsburgh recovered from a sluggish three-game set against New Jersey by pouncing on the undermanned and overmatched Sabres. Buffalo’s 15-game winless stretch (0-13-2) is a record for futility since the shootout was introduced during the 2005-06 season.

Crosby, Wilson hope for ‘some clarity’ from NHL on hits

Crosby, Wilson hope for ‘some clarity’ from NHL on hits
By STEPHEN WHYNO AP Hockey Writer
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby and Washington winger Tom Wilson have found themselves in agreement on something. Both are questioning the NHL on a lack of clarity between clean and dirty hits on the ice. One solution may be adding an off-ice official high above the play as a backup. That official could help referees decide whether a hit is worth a major penalty. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has doled out eight suspensions for a total of 20 games this season. Last year, the total was 20 suspensions totaling 51 games.