Thu, 07 Dec 2023

Penguins strike early to beat skidding Blackhawks

Field Level Media
21 Nov 2022, 13:40 GMT+10

Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists and Evgeni Malkin scored in his 1,000th career game as the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the skidding Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Sunday night.

Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith stopped 25 shots to win for the third time in his past four starts and send the Blackhawks to their fourth straight loss. Chicago has lost six of seven overall.

Richard Rakell had a goal and assist and Kris Letang had two assists each for Pittsburgh, which sealed the outcome on a Jeff Carter empty-net goal with 16 seconds to go.

After allowing three unanswered goals to begin the game, the Blackhawks trimmed the deficit to one with second-period scores from Jujhar Khaira and Patrick Kane. Chicago tied the game at 3 when Philipp Kurashev scored unassisted at 15:49 of the third.

Crosby answered 1:03 later with a backhand that beat Blackhawks goaltender Arvid Soderblom, allowing Pittsburgh to stop an eight-game losing streak in Chicago.

Chicago outshot Pittsburgh 16-8 in the first period, registering two fewer shots than the team had during the entirety of Saturday's 6-1 loss at Boston.

The Penguins, however, capitalized on their second shot of the game to take a 1-0 lead after just 1:04, as Brock McGinn scored on a slap shot from the left circle. It was McGinn's fifth goal in the past seven games.

While the Blackhawks also boasted an edge in scoring chances in the first 20 minutes, they might have trailed by more. With Pittsburgh on the penalty kill midway through the period, Soderblom stopped Theodor Blueger on a breakaway, and also turned aside another Penguins rush.

Malkin, who scored in his first NHL game on Oct. 18, 2006, extended his point streak to seven games early in the second period. Positioned in front of the crease, Malkin converted a Ryan Poehling pass from behind the net. The Penguins made it 3-0 1:40 later when Rakell scored off a one-timer from Crosby.

Soderblom made 17 saves for Chicago, which outshot Pittsburgh 32-25. The Blackhawks went 0-for-4 on the power play.

--Field Level Media

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