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The Pucks Stop Here: Jarry Shines In Penguins’ 4-1 Win



Tristan Jarry said a few days ago that he hoped to be back in top form “the second I step on the ice” for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He didn’t necessarily intend that to be a prediction and that’s too bad, because it would have been a pretty good one.

Jarry, who missed seven games after suffering an unspecified lower-body injury during the Winter Classic Jan. 2 in Boston, was back in the crease Friday night and stopped 44 of 45 shots in the Penguins’ 4-1 victory over Ottawa at PPG Paints Arena.

“I thought he was in great control,” coach Mike Sullivan said.

The win raised the Penguins’ record to 23-15-7 and into sole possession of the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. They are three points behind seventh-place Washington, but have three games-in-hand.

Jarry wasn’t the only Pittsburgh Penguins player who returned after an extended absence.

Jeff Petry, who had missed the previous 16 games, returned and worked opposite Marcus Pettersson on the No. 1 defense pairing. He also manned the left point on the No. 1 power-play unit.

“He helps us in so many ways,” Sullivan said. “He can log a lot of minutes. … His presence was felt right away.”

The Penguins still are missing their other two regular right-side defenseman. Kris Letang was put on the Long-Term Injured list (although he will be eligible to resume playing when the Penguins visit New Jersey Sunday afternoon) and Jan Rutta was placed on injured-reserve.

The first half of the opening period was fast-paced, but fairly structured and relatively uneventful.

That changed after Penguins winger Brock McGinn dropped Ottawa defenseman Erik Brannstrom with a hard hit behind the Senators’ goal line.

Ottawa’s Travis Hamonic immediately challenged McGinn to fight, and picked up an instigation minor and 10-minute misconduct to go with a fighting major for his trouble.

The Penguins made the most of their chance with the extra man, as Rickard Rakell put in a Petry rebound from the left side of the crease at 11:14 for his 17th of the season. Jake Guentzel, who got his stick on Petry’s shot as it approached Senators goalie Cam Talbot, got the other assist.

Although the Penguins have had more than a few letdowns on the shift immediately after scoring a goal this season, that wasn’t an issue this time.

Just 43 seconds after Rakell scored, Jason Zucker flipped a backhander past Talbot while standing behind the goal line to the left of the Senators’ net to make it 2-0. It was Zucker’s 13th of the season and gave him a goal in three consecutive games.

The Penguins got their second man-advantage of the game at 3:02 of the second, when Senators winger Austin Watson was assessed a roughing minor for punching Mark Friedman in the face, but they were unable to add to their lead.

Bryan Rust, who needed stitches after being struck in the head by a puck during warmups, left the ice early again late in the second period, after getting a nasty cross-check in the back from Senators defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker.

Rust was back a few minutes later, however, and quickly got a measure of revenge.

He carried the puck from the Penguins’ zone into the Ottawa end, then slid a pass to Guentzel, who threw a shot past Talbot from inside the right circle for his 19th.

The Senators finally solved Jarry at 18:55, as Brady Tkachuk put in a Tim Stutzle rebound from left of the net. Tkachuk scored on Ottawa’s 26th shot.

Ottawa, who scored four power-play goals in its 5-4 overtime victory at Canadian Tire Centre Wednesday, got its second chance with the man-advantage when Pettersson was sent off for hooking 26 seconds into the third, but the Pittsburgh Penguins killed the penalty without incident.

Guentzel all but put the game out of reach, however inadvertently, at 6:13, when he tried to feed a pass to Sidney Crosby, only to have Bernard-Docker deflect the puck behind Talbot. That gave Guentzel at least 20 goals for the sixth season in a row.

The Joseph brothers — P.O of the Penguins and Ottawa’s Mathieu — received matching high-sticking penalties at 13:02 after Mathieu tried to line up P.O for a big hit near the right-wing corner in the Penguins’ end.