The Pittsburgh Penguins (18-9-1) lived dangerously including taking third period penalties and allowed 45 shots on goal. Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry was up to the test and got some luck, too. Evgeni Malkin scored two points, including a goal for his 1100th career point and the Penguins survived the gritty Boston Bruins (14-8-4), 4-1 at PPG Paints Arena.
There were some close calls, including David Pastrnak fanning with a yawning cage. The Penguins now lead Boston by five points in the East Division, which is beyond the reach of Boston’s two games in hand.
“I thought Tristan (Jarry) had a great game, but having said that, we would prefer not to give up 43 shots,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said.
It was the Penguins sixth straight win.
Tristan Jarry, who won nine of his previous 12 games was again stellar when called upon. He stopped a pair of Grade A shorthanded chances in the second period which allowed the Penguins to maintain their two-goal lead. He was spectacular, again.
Overall, Jarry stopped 42 shots.
“Yeah, it’s lots of fun, obviously, you get in a bit of a rhythm, and I think that’s good way, a lot of consecutive shots and it keeps you in that rhythm,” Jarry said. “And I think it’s something you have to keep going. Whether you got 20 shots or 40 shots, I think there’s no difference. You have to stay in that rhythm and yet to be able to come up big when you’re called.”
Boston was without starting goalie Tuuka Rask, who resumed skating in Pittsburgh on Monday morning but will miss a few more games. His absence was deeply felt in the first period.
The Penguins hung a pair of softies on Boston goalie Jaroslav Halak in the first period which changed the game.
First, Evan Rodrigues scored from behind the LW circle. Halak misplayed Rodrigues’ (2) long wrist shot and the puck dribbled past to erase the Boston lead.
Late in the first period, Sidney Crosby did one of those things only Crosby would try. From the corner, Crosby (11) one-timed the puck along the goal line. It’s a goal Crosby has scored dozens of times. Halak was in position yet the puck still dribbled through. 2-1.
Boston opened the scoring with a power-play goal six minutes into the game. With Bryan Rust feeling shame after slashing Brad Marchand, Boston forward Nick Ritchie screened Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry and Matt Grzelcyk’s shot from the point slipped past on the short side.
In the second period, Evgeni Malkin made history. He assisted on Evan Rodrigues’ first-period goal for point No. 1099. In the second, Malkin scored a power-play goal for his 1100th point. Malkin (8) slipped into the slot and whipped a wrister past Halak.
Malkin became the third player to score 1100 points in a Pittsburgh Penguins sweater (Crosby, Mario Lemieux) and the third Russian player (Alex Ovechkin, Sergei Fedorov) to ever score 1100.
Malkin also extended his point streak to eight games (4g, 8a).
“He’s dominant. I mean, that’s what sticks out the most is when he has the puck, it’s hard to take it from him,” Crosby said of Malkin. “He’s seeing the ice really well, shooting the puck. When he when he’s going like that, there’s not much you can do to stop him.”
Jake Guentzel (11) scored the empty netter. Sidney Crosby assisted, which made him just the 22nd player in NHL history to have 200 multi-assist games.
He made a handful of big-time saves. If any of them go in, it’s an entirely different game. Jarry has been uflappable and a backbone of the Penguins’ six-game winning streak.
Malkin had his skates tuned up and had as much jump as he’s had all season. He was dancing with the puck.
Credit the brawny winger. Head coach Mike Sullivan challenged him to be more physical and he has responded. He mixed it up near the Boston net and got his nose dirty.