The Pittsburgh Penguins (11-8-5) couldn’t help but score power-play goals. Vancouver Canucks (penalties were not judgment calls but automatic calls the officials couldn’t overlook. Vancouver took three consecutive penalties just 51 seconds apart, and Jake Guentzel ripped a pair of power-play goals as part of his fourth career regular-season hat trick and four-point night.
The Penguins used the two-man advantages to power a 4-1 win at Rogers Arena. Vancouver’s league-worst penalty kill was killing at a 64.5% rate before the game. The Penguins were two-for-six, which may have slightly upped Vancouver’s percentage.
The Penguins attempted 63 shot attempts in the first two periods and 77 overall.
Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry didn’t face a barrage, but Vancouver pushed in the second period before Guentzel’s power-play goals late in the period. Vancouver mounted only 12 shots on the net, but six of those were scoring chances. Jarry stopped 21 of 22.
Guentzel’s points extended his active-points streak to 12 games (10-6-16), and he has a point in all 11 road games this season.
Sidney Crosby also extended his scoring streak to five games (2-7-9). Before scoring the clincher, he had the primary apples on Guentzel’s power-play goals.
The first period was a relatively even skate, but Vancouver had few chances. The Pittsburgh Penguins outshot Vancouver 12-7 but dominated the scoring chances, 11-1.
The Penguins defensemen are one of the lowest-scoring blue lines in the NHL. A concerted effort to add more offense from the back end was evident in the first period. Penguins d-man Mike Matheson led all players with three shots in the first 20 minutes and played with the puck deep in the offensive zone on multiple occasions.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko kept the first period scoreless. Overall, Demko stopped 40 of 44.
The Penguins spent nearly half of the second period on the power play. Vancouver took six minor penalties, including three in under a minute.
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan juggled his lines before the game. Kasperi Kapanen was dropped from the Jeff Carter line to the third line with Teddy Blueger. Kapanen had three shots on goal.
Sullivan also elevated Danton Heinen to Carter’s line. Heinen had one shot.
Rookie Drew O’Connor slotted-in as the Penguins’ fourth-line center. O’Connor wasn’t lavished with ice time but played almost eight minutes with one shot on goal, too.
Guentzel also scored the first goal of the game. Early in the second period, defenseman Brian Dumoulin’s shot was blocked in the slot but caromed directly to Guentzel in the right-wing circle. Guentzel (11) one-timed it off a defenseman into the net.
Early in the second period, Vancouver tied the game. Vasily Podkolzin (5) deflected a point shot, and the puck fluttered over Jarry’s shoulder.
Late in the period, Guentzel scored the pair of power-play goals.
On the two-man advantage, Guentzel (12) ripped a one-timer from the right-wing circle. It also deflected off a defender near the net.
Just 70 seconds later, Guentzel completed the hat trick. From the high slot, Guentzel (13) glided on one foot and kicked his high leg for another targeted wrister, which also deflected off a defender.
The Penguins’ defensemen continued to pinch well. Midway through the third period, top Penguins defenseman Kris Letang charged on the right wing and set up Crosby (3) for the tidy deflection.
The Penguins attempted 77 shots as they ended their three-game winless streak. Four Penguins had five shots (Matheson, Evan Rodrigues, Letang, Crosby). The Penguins play their first game in Seattle against the Kraken on Monday before coming back East to finish the five-game road trip next Friday.