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Guentzel HAT TRICK, Penguins Rip Bruins 4-0 to Control 3rd Place

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Jake Guentzel Hat Trick

It was the best effort by the Pittsburgh Penguins in several weeks. Winger Jake Guentzel scored the hat trick capped by a later third-period empty netter, the Penguins got secondary scoring and the defensemen played well. Head coach Mike Sullivan did a little bit of line-matching to get Sidney Crosby and Guentzel away from Boston Bruins Selke-quality center Patrice Bergeron and the Penguins beat their black-and-gold-clad guests 4-0 at PPG Paints Arena.

The Penguins wore the home whites and Boston wore the black and gold jerseys. Perhaps the superstitious Penguins will keep the trend.

Casey DeSmith stopped a career-best 52 shots, eclipsing his previous best of 48 set in 2018 (Stick tap, Bob Grove).

Jake Guentzel’s EN was his 40th goal of the season.

UPDATE: Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said Jeff Carter is being evaluated for a lower-body injury. He left the game in the third period.

The struggling Penguins had four days off and two solid practices on Tuesday and Wednesday, which are a rarity in the final weeks of an NHL season. It appears they put the rest to good use. The team had just three wins in their last 10 games since they destroyed the Detroit Red Wings 11-2. In that time, the Washington Capitals caught the Penguins in the Metro Division at 97 points and Boston pulled ahead by two points in a potential wild-card race.

The Penguins now control third place.

The early first period had a few ebbs and flows for both, but was otherwise a low-event start until the Penguins first line pressed midway through the period. Mike Matheson’s shot was deflected and trickled just wide. On the following rush a moment later, Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (38) stepped behind defenseman Kyle Clifton for a short breakaway goal.

The Penguins had 13 shots in the first period, and three high-danger chances, compared to 11 Boston shots and one high-danger opportunity.

Boston was able to pressure the Penguins in the second period, but the Penguins got the goal. Jeff Carter made a magnificent touch pass at the red line to spring Jason Zucker on a breakaway–again through the middle of the Boston defense. Zucker (8) ripped the shot top-shelf over Swayman.

Boston took 14 of the first 19 shots in the second period but didn’t crack the Penguins or goalie Casey DeSmith.

Later in the period, Jake Guentzel showed the results of his tutelage under Sidney Crosby, with a Crosby-esque goal. The Penguins forecheck created a busted play and Kris Letang bolted deep in the Boston zone. As defenders and Swayman converged on Letang, he slipped a pass to Guentzel deep in the corner. Despite the impossible angle and distance, Guentzel (39) hit the empty net over the diving goalie.

The game was the fourth and final game Evgeni Malkin will miss due to his suspension for cross-checking Nashville defenseman Mark Borowiecki.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Paul
Paul
7 months ago

Casey DeSmith, you are ri-di-cul-lous! (Fifty-two saves are the most in a shutout in team history.) #No1Star

Last edited 7 months ago by Paul
Paul
Paul
7 months ago

Fist bump for the Super Genius tonight. He was only member of Fake News to pursue the real story tonight — how far this team can go with DeSmith as the No. 1 guy.in the playoffs.

Last edited 7 months ago by Paul
Mark Miller
Mark Miller
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Paul let’s leave thoughts of fake news out of this sports page.

Ethan
7 months ago

What a game! Now just imagine next time they meet is outdoors in the snow beneath a Green Monster. One team in original season throwback blue, black and gold thrashes the other in original brown. Bruin means brown after all so why would they ever play in black and gold? Be like the Cleveland Browns playing in red or something. Only room for one team in the NHL in black and gold and white (or blue). Penguins at least come in those colors in nature(and if they had balls I’m pretty sure they’d be blue). Bears surely should not!

Brandon o
Brandon o
7 months ago

Desmith played well, but the difference was the team defense. Active sticks and positional awareness is what made this team surge back in december, and that was on full display tonight. Carter seems to have run out of gas and he needs a break, so hopefully not too long of an absence. Blueger, McGinn and Heinen looked strong out there. Even Kapanen had a good game defensively and almost connected with Boyle for a sneaky goal. Malkin, Zucker and Rust have a few games left to gel and have to bring way more then what they did with Carter. They… Read more »