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Finally! Crosby, Penguins Beat Arizona to End Losing Streak



Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby
Pittsburgh Penguins Center Sidney Crosby (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

PITTSBURGH — Casey DeSmith stopped 39 shots Saturday as the Pittsburgh Penguins broke a five-game losing streak with a 4-0 win over the visiting Arizona Coyotes.

DeSmith, the backup to Matt Murray, got his second straight start and picked up his second shutout this season, third of his career.

“This was a team shutout. This was a team win.,” DeSmith said. “Everybody needed this, kind of a statement win at home.”

Sidney Crosby and Dominic Simon each had a goal and an assist, Patrick Hornqvist and Brian Dumoulin also scored, and Jake Guentzel had two assists for the Penguins, who had been on an 0-4-1 skid and had scored just two goals in their previous three games.

“We had a losing streak. It felt terrible,” Simon said. “Now we can build on this. It feels really good to win again.”

Crosby spent time as both the top-line and third-line center

Guentzel and Phil Kessel, the third-line wingers for this game, got a shift with Crosby in the first period.

The best chance for either team in the first came later, when Darcy Kuemper made a glove save on Crosby’s point-blank backhanded shot off a two-on-one with Bryan Rust at around 11:40.

Kessel got a look on Evgeni Malkin’s line briefly in the second, but when coach Mike Sullivan tried Guentzel and Kessel again, it worked.

At 6:42 of the second, Crosby gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead. He took a feed from Kessel in the neutral zone, broke into Arizona’s end and shoveled a high backhander short side from the bottom of the right circle for his eighth goal.

Still, Sullivan went back to his original top line, Crosby with Simon and Bryan Rust, and suddenly that worked, too.

Simon, from the slot, redirected a Rust pass past Kuemper to make it 2-0 at 8:34 of the second.

With 15.3 seconds left in the second, Simon sent a pass from behind the net to the slot, where Hornqvist slammed it home to make it 3-0.

Dumoulin picked up his first goal of the season at 7:24 of the third. On a three-on-two, he scored from the right circle for a 4-0 lead.

The Penguins especially wanted to erase the bad taste of their previous game, a 2-1 loss at Washington that was decided late.

“I think if we follow it up (with a win, great) … if not, it’s back to chasing the game and finding ours,” Crosby said. “It’s one win and I think the goal is to play every game like this one, like the past one and give ourselves a chance every night. It’s too good of a league not to. That urgency is what we need every night.”



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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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