Penguins rally, beat Jets in shootout for fifth straight win
PITTSBURGH– Kasperi Kapanen and Jeff Carter scored nine seconds apart in the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied for a 3-2 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday.
Kapanen cut it to 2-1 at 6:55 when Yevgeny MalkinCarter’s pass was deflected by his skate and tied it 2-2 at 7:04 when he scored from a sharp angle after intercepting a pass from the Jets goaltender. Connor Hellebuyck sent the end boards.
“I think we had a lot of chances throughout the game,” Kapanen said. “The first two periods weren’t our best. We still had chances. I think [first goal] comes in for us, it’s a big weight lifted off everyone’s shoulders. … It was a good segment there.”
Tristan Jarry made 27 saves for the Penguins (26-10-5), who have won five straight and are 16-2-0 in their last 18 games.
Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist, and Hellebuyck made 36 saves for the Jets (17-14-7), who have lost four in a row (0-2-2). Hellebuyck made 29 saves in a 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
“The game goes from a shutout, and what should be a shutout, to an overtime shootout loss,” Hellebuyck said. “The second [Penguins goal], I just had a late decision because it looked like it was going to be ice cold for a second. Then when I finally decided my only game was to tear it up behind the net and they just have a guy wide open right there. It just seems to be my chance right now.”
Sidney Crosby scored the only goal of the shootout. Jarry saved on Kyle Connor, Marc Scheifele and Pierre-Luc Dubois.
“They’re a great team,” Jarry said. “They are playing a tough game. It’s a heavy team. I think they put a lot of pucks on the net. They have a good transition game. think we made up for it in the third period.”
Pittsburgh has won seven in a row at home, its longest home winning streak since winning 11 in a row in 2017-18.
“I think our team played a lot of consistent hockey,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I think the most recent might be our most volatile team game we’ve put on the ice. So I think that’s our challenge going forward is to put a consistent game on the ice that we think is going to give us a chance to win.”
Wheeler gave the Jets a 1-0 lead at 3:28 of the first period with a backhand after receiving a pass from Scheifele. It was his second game after missing the previous nine with a lower body injury.
Connor had a chance to extend the lead on a shorthanded breakaway after intercepting a pass from Malkin, but Jarry stretched for a pad save at 14:29 of first.
“I think for a game in a row, against a good team, I thought our special teams, we were pretty sharp,” the Winnipeg defenseman said. Brenden Dillon noted. “We were able to give ourselves a chance in that area.”
Video: [email protected]: Carter scores nine seconds past Kapanen
Connor made it 2-0 at 8:11 of the second period on a power play goal from the left faceoff circle. It was his 22nd goal of the season and his third in the last five games.
“I liked how we stayed in the fight until the end,” Jets coach Dave Lowry said. “I really liked the way we started the game. We had a really good response coming back from a game yesterday. Our preparation was good.
“I thought our leadership guys had prepared our team to play. We controlled the hockey game for the most part. This is a positive point.
REMARKS: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang played his 900th game in the NHL. He ended his 10-game point streak (two goals, 13 assists) in the NHL. …Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo didn’t play after hitting two shots, a hit and a block in 18:16 against the Bruins on Saturday. Lowry said DeMelo will be evaluated this week, but did not provide details. … Penguins forward Teddy Bleuger left after taking a hit from Dillon at 8:55 of the first period. An update was not provided. … Pittsburgh forward Zach Aston Reese did not play due to a lower body injury. It is day to day.