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Rust’s OT Goal Ends Penguins’ Slide, 3-2



ST. LOUIS — The Pittsburgh Penguins are back in a wild-card playoff spot.

And their losing streak is history.

Bryan Rust scored at 1:16 of overtime to give them a 3-2 victory over St. Louis at Enterprise Center, snapping a four-game skid.

They are one point ahead of four other clubs in the fight for the second wild-card.

Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson broke a 1-1 tie at 14:32 of the third period, beating Blues goalie Jordan Binnington from above the left hash mark for his first of the season, but St. Louis countered at 17:33, when Justin Faulk nudged a shot over the goal line during a scramble in Tristan’s Jarry’s crease to force overtime.

Defenseman Jan Rutta, who had missed the previous 15 games because of an unspecified upper-body injury, rejoined the lineup and was deployed on the No. 3 pairing, opposite P.O Joseph.

Rutta’s return means that forward Ryan Poehling is the Penguins’ only injured player.

Danton Heinen replaced Kasperi Kapanen, whose waiver claim by the Blues became official about 90 minutes before the game, on the third line. Heinen had been a healthy scratch for eight games.

Kapanen is expected to make his St. Louis debut Tuesday against Seattle.

The Penguins dominated most of the first period, running up a 21-5 advantage in shots during the first 16 minutes, 12 seconds of play.

The Blues got the final two shots of the period, mostly because Jason Zucker spent them in the penalty box after receiving a double-minor for high-sticking Justin Faulk.

St. Louis, which entered the game mired in a 0-for-16 slump on the power play, never seriously threatened during those four minutes. The penalty-killing tandems of Bryan Rust and Teddy Blueger and Josh Archibald and Brock McGinn, turned in some quality work, as did the Penguins’ defensemen.

Archibald had perhaps the best of the Penguins’ scoring chances during the opening period, when he got the puck alone in front of Binnington, only to flip it over the net.

Evgeni Malkin also had a dangerous opportunity about a minute into the game, as he had a 2-on-1 break with Rust, but he failed to beat Binnington.

The Penguins never got a chance to enjoy being back at full strength early in the second period, because Zucker had been out of the box for just 11 seconds when Blues forward Pavel Buchnevich, positioned inside the left circle, deflected a Robert Thomas shot out of the air and between Tristan Jarry’s legs to put St. Louis up, 1-0.

The Penguins finally broke through at 6:59. Malkin beat Binnington from near the inner edge of the left circle after a cross-ice setup by Rust.

Pettersson got the second assist on that goal, Malkin’s 22nd.

Teddy Blueger, who entered the game without a goal in 31 games, nearly put the Penguins in front a few minutes later, but his shot slammed off the crossbar behind Binnington.

The Penguins had a chance to go in front when Blues forward Jordan Kyrou was penalized for roughing in the wake of a 10-man scuffle in the right-wing corner of the Penguins’ zone at 10:47, but they were unable to capitalize.

St. Louis also survived a high-sticking minor on Faulk assessed at 9:38 of the third.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will return home to face Tampa Bay Sunday at 6:08 p.m. at PPG Paints Arena.