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Guentzel and Carter Strike Twice, Penguins Crunch the Kraken, 6-1



Pittsburgh Penguins game, Seattle Kraken, 6-1 win

The Pittsburgh Penguins (12-8-5) won their second game in a row as they dispatched another team they should beat. The Penguins tallied three times in the first five minutes, even if a couple of them were soft. Jeff Carter and Jake Guentzel scored a pair of goals, as the Penguins quick-strike offense reappeared late in the second period.

The Penguins sailed past the Seattle Kraken (9-14-2), 6-1 at Climate Pledge Arena.

The Penguins earned a little payback from the hockey gods. The Penguins scored three goals on their first four shots over the first 5:07 of the first period. None were particularly sweet goals, and Seattle goalie Phillipp Grubauer probably wanted two, if not all three, of the goals back.

Less than two minutes into the game, Penguins center Jeff Carter (6) unwrapped his early Christmas gift when Grubauer deflected Carter’s centering pass into the net. That’s an own-goal and gave the Penguins a quick lead.

A few minutes later, Brian Dumoulin’s point shot deflected off Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, and the puck dribbled through Grubauer’s five-hole. Sidney Crosby (4) tapped it into the empty net as it settled near the goal line, behind the goalie.

The goal extended Crosby’s scoring streak to six games and Guentzel’s to 13 games. Guentzel has a point in every road game this season (12), which set a franchise record of 12 straight to begin a season. Dumoulin’s assist was his 100th career point.

And 26 seconds after Crosby scored, Danton Heinen (7) had a clean wrister from the high slot. It deflected off a defenseman, though it didn’t change directions.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol gave Grubauer a seat, and Joey Daccord was tossed into the deep end, just his 12th career NHL game. Daccord made a few pretty saves, including one on Carter at point-blank range. Seattle rallied in the first period to outshoot the Penguins, 10-8, but the Penguins outchanced them 8-3.

Pittsburgh Penguins backup goalie Casey DeSmith made his fifth start this season. He stopped every shot until old Penguins nemesis Jordan Eberle finished a delayed penalty sequence in which the Penguins quit on the play, but Seattle did not. Eberle (12) got past Zach Aston-Reese, behind John Marino and beat Dominik Simon to the net for the put-back goal.

Daccord was pretty good in relief. The score could have been worse, especially as the Seattle Kraken pressed in the third period. Daccord stuffed Kasperi Kapanen near the crease and Dominik Simon on the shooting end of a two-on-one.

The Penguins scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the second period to end any suspense.

The red-hot Jake Guentzel was the recipient of Evan Rodrigues’ slick pass through the defenseman on a two-on-one. Guentzel (14) paused briefly, pulling Daccord to the ice, and Guentzel roofed the wrister.

Just 23 seconds later, the Penguins converted what became a three-on-one rush. Daccord stopped Kris Letang, but Jeff Carter scored his second goal (7) when he one-handed the rebound off Oleksiak and into the net.

However, the Penguins scored once more in the third period as Seattle defensemen took chances.

Evan Rodrigues again fed the angry sea monster Jake Guentzel. On a three-on-two, Rodrigues didn’t pass to Sidney Crosby on the left but backhanded a pass to Guentzel on the right. Guentzel (15) kicked the puck to his stick and ripped the top-corner shot in the same motion.

Game set and match.

Daccord made 23 saves on 26 shots. DeSmith got his first win of the season as he stopped 28 of 29 shots.

Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin were a team-high plus-4. Jake Guentzel also had an assist for a three-point game (2-1-3). Heinen also had three points (1-2-3).

The Penguins have a travel day and will practice in Pittsburgh for a couple of days before finishing the road trip on Friday in Washington, D.C., against the Metropolitan Division rival Capitals.

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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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6 months ago

Who else is surprised that Tanev/McCann didn’t burn them?

Glad that Casey finally got a W!

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