Crosby has two goals, two assists to lead Penguins to Wild
St. PAUL, Minn. — Sidney Crosby had two goals and two assists, and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Minnesota Wild 6-4 on Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Jake Guentzel had one goal and two assists, and Tristan Jarry made 19 saves for the Penguins (7-7-3), who won for the third time in their last five games.
“Two points on the road,” Guentzel said. “It’s good to get two points. A few things to clean up, but a tough team to play against tonight, so it’s good to get two points.”
Joel Eriksson I scored twice, and Philip Gustavsson made 26 saves for the Wild (7-8-2), who have lost three straight and five of their last seven.
“Playing in the NHL is not easy. It’s not going to be easy,” Gustavsson said. “We have to work a lot harder than we are now and find a way to win. It’s more fun to win. Everybody hates to lose. We have to stop doing that.”
Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 8:15 of the first period with a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that beat Gustavsson’s glove, and Ryan Poehling extended it to 2-0 at 17:03, scoring in a time after a pass from Teddy Blueger.
The Penguins allowed five shots on goal and scored on two of their four shots in the first period.
“We got off to a good start,” Crosby said. “We didn’t have many shots, but I thought we controlled the game.”
Brandon Duhaime cut it to 2-1 at 4:31 of the second period Marcus Foligno intercepted the puck at the blue line and fed it for the shot from the right circle.
Eriksson Ek scored 12 seconds later to tie the game at 2-2 at 4:43 when he crashed the net and tapped in his own rebound, but Kris Letang scored his first of the season to restore a 3-2 lead at the 18:20 mark on a 5-on-3 power play.
“I thought the 5-on-3 goal in the second period was a big goal for our team, just a big boost for us,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “Those guys had been working hard and I was happy for them.
“There was a lot to like about the game. We still had some lapses in the game where we got hurt, so to speak. We have to keep working to get better in those circumstances. For much of the night, We really liked our game. Obviously when you score so many goals it helps your chances.”
Crosby extended the lead to 4-2 at 5:50 of the third period with a backdoor tap-in on a power play.
Eriksson Ek made it 4-3 at 11:23, scoring on the rush for a shorthanded goal.
Brock McGinn made it 5-3 at 14:43 with a wrist shot off a Wild forward turnover Mats Zuccarelloand Guentzel scored an empty net goal to make it 6-3 at 16:31.
“Obviously, we’re not scoring enough goals,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. “You can look at four, but we probably had opportunities to score early and didn’t. First period we’re down. We actually had a good period, but we struggled. We clawed. We got back into the game and obviously we didn’t do enough as a group to do it.”
Matt Dumba scored with eight seconds left in the game on a layup from the left circle to make it 6-4.
“We have a lot of guys in the lineup and we have to find our identity and play for 60 minutes and that’s how we have to win games,” Foligno said. “We have to win games 2-1. It’s going to be ugly. We don’t have the firepower we thought we had. … We need guys to step up. I feel like we have to find our identity. becoming [a team] that wins tight games.”
NOTES: Wild forwards Kirill Kaprizov (six points; two goals, four assists) and Zuccarello (five points; one goal, four assists) have extended their point streaks to five games each. … Crosby scored his 100th career goal, becoming only the second active NHL player to reach the mark (Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, 134) and tied Mario Lemieux for the most in the history of the Pittsburgh franchise. He passed Gordie Howe for 10th most three-point games in NHL history (163) and is one game behind Jari Kurri. … Minnesota forward Tyson Jost got 7:54 of ice time after being a healthy scratch for three games.
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