Friday, December 20, 2013
Sports News

Penguins 5, Wild 2

Send a link to a friend 

[December 20, 2013]  PITTSBURGH — Penguins 5, Wild 2: Rookie defenseman Olli Maatta had a goal and two assists for his first career three-point game as host Pittsburgh won its sixth straight contest.

Defenseman Matt Niskanen scored and added an assist while Pascal Dupuis, Brandon Sutter and Chris Kunitz also scored for the Penguins, who extended their Metropolitan Division lead to 14 points. Rookie goaltender Jeff Zatkoff made 24 saves and captain Sidney Crosby added a pair of assists to extend his point streak to nine games.

Jason Pominville and Dany Heatley replied for Minnesota, which lost for the first time in seven trips to Pittsburgh. Niklas Backstrom stopped 31 shots en route to his fifth consecutive loss.

Dupuis banged home a rebound 49 seconds into the game to give the Penguins an early lead and Sutter fired a loose puck from the left faceoff circle 1:54 into the second period. Niskanen blasted a one-timer from the point past a screened Backstrom on a power play 1:39 later and Kunitz chipped in a centering feed from Crosby at 10:43 of the period to extend the lead to 4-0.

[to top of second column]

Pominville scored 37 seconds after Kunitz’s tally and Heatley cut the deficit to two 3:13 into the third period on a rebound opportunity. The Wild had a lengthy 5-on-3 power play a couple of minutes later, but Maatta was hooked by Minnesota defenseman Jonas Brodin on a breakaway after exiting the penalty box and his penalty shot attempt trickled past Backstrom to restore the three-goal advantage.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Wild D Keith Ballard fought twice following hip checks on Pittsburgh players, squaring off against RW Chuck Kobasew and LW James Neal after knocking them over. … Neal had one assist and one shot in his return from a five-game suspension. … Pominville leads Minnesota with 16 goals. … Crosby leads the league with 51 points.

[© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2013 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Sports index

Back to top