Pittsburgh Penguins Three Stars In Victory Over Arizona Coyotes


The Pittsburgh Penguins put the brakes on a three-game losing streak at home Saturday with three scores in the third period to take down the Arizona Coyotes 3-1.

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The Black and Gold elevated their record to 41-23-11, 93 points with the victory. Their last win at home was Thursday, March 12 when they put up six goals to Edmonton’s four scores at Consol Energy Center.

The Penguins are tied with the New York Islanders (44-27-5, 93 points) for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The New York Rangers are in first in the Metro with a record of 47-20-7, 101 points. The Blue Shirts lost to the Bruins 4-2 in Boston Saturday while the Isles also went down to defeat 3-2 at home to the Anaheim Ducks.

Pittsburgh saw Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist return to the ice, but the win came with a cost as defenseman Kris Letang was injured with 4:45 remaining in the second period. Arizona right wing Shane Doan collided with the 6-foot, 201-pound blue liner after he sent the puck into the neutral zone. Letang fell awkwardly backwards and the back of his head collided with the end boards.

Penguins’ left wing Blake Comeau left the game at 13:13 in the first after he was assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Coyotes defenseman Andrew Campbell.

Time to look at the three players of the game that helped Pittsburgh close out the game against the Coyotes.

1) Sidney Crosby came through with his 25th goal of the season on the powerplay at 11:24 of the third that won the game. He added his 52nd assist on center Daniel Winnik’s goal at 7:16 of the third. He registered his 53rd helper on right wing Steve Downie’s powerplay score at 9:19 in the third frame. The Captain also led the team with 13 faceoff wins.

2) Winnik brought the game even again when he put up his first goal as a Pen. Defenseman Paul Martin sent a slap shot at Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith and Winnik got the rebound off Smith’s pads to put the puck in the net at 7:16 in the third.

3) Downie temporarily gave Pittsburgh the lead at 9:19 of the third on a power play score. He received a pass from Crosby and blasted a slap shot past Smith. On a side note, Malkin had an assist on both Downie’s and Crosby’s goals.

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  • Between The Pipes: Goaltender Thomas Greiss stopped 22-of-24 shots for a .917 save percentage in picking up his ninth victory. The 6-foot-1 220-pound netminder is 9-5-3 with a 2.51 goals-against-average and a .913 save percentage this season.

    Special Teams: Pittsburgh had a decent day at the office as they went 2-of-6 on the power play against the Coyotes. The penalty kill unit took care of business as Arizona went 0-of-2 with the man advantage.

    Lunch Pail Crew: It was defenseman Ben Lovejoy leading the charge in hits with nine for the Penguins. He was tied with his fellow member of the blue line crew, Derrick Pouliot for the top spot in blocked shots with three apiece.

    Box Score Points: Pittsburgh outshot their guests 46-24 and blocked more shots 13-8. Arizona retained a slight edge in faceoff wins 33-29 over the Pens. The Black and Gold held the advantage in hits 36-30 while also owning the lead in penalty minutes 26-21.

    Official Three Stars Of The Game: 1) Crosby was also the McDonald’s Player of the Game on the ROOT Sports Network; 2) Downie for his power play goal; 3) Arizona goaltender Mike Smith turned away 43 of 46 shots on the afternoon.


    Up Next: The Black and Gold are right back on the ice Sunday, March 29 when they host the San Jose Sharks (36-30-8, 80 points). The Sharks won 3-2 in a shootout Saturday over the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

    They will drop the puck at Consol Energy Center at 7:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network, and locally on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh

    From The Clipboard: There was a crowd of 18,627 at Consol Energy Center…Pittsburgh’s scratches for the contest were left wing David Perron and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff…Arizona’s scratches were left wing Lauri Korpikoski and defenseman Brandon Gormley.

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