Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins Bury the Winless Wild With 4 Goals in 2nd Period

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Sidney Crosby had a goal and assist, Adam Johnson and Sam Lafferty each scored his first career goal, and the short-handed Pittsburgh Penguins held on to beat the winless Minnesota Wild 7-4 on Saturday night.

Patric Hornqvist, Kris Letang, Joseph Blandisi and Jake Guentzel also scored in Pittsburgh’s first road game of the season. Matt Murray stopped 29 shots for the Penguins, who scored four times in the second period.

Pittsburgh Penguins Matt Murray Sidney Crosby
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray celebrates with Sidney Crosby (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk gave up five goals on 23 shots and was pulled midway through the second period. Alex Stalock made seven saves in relief.

Jason Zucker, Jared Spurgeon, Brad Hunt and Luke Kunin scored for the Wild, who lost their home opener and fell to 0-4-0.

Crosby continued his success against Minnesota — increasing his total to 23 points in 18 career games against the Wild — but Pittsburgh got support throughout the lineup while playing without four key forwards.

Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad each missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury. Malkin was placed on long-term injured reserve. Bryan Rust hasn’t played this season with upper-body injury and Alex Galchenyuk missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury.

After breaking out for seven goals in the last game played by Malkin and Bjugstad, the Penguins had scored three goals in the previous two games. The injuries forced the callups of Johnson, Lafferty and Blandisi.

The three combined for three goals on Saturday while skating on the fourth line.

Johnson started a Penguins surge later in the period as they scored three times in 2:28.

Guentzel scored on the power-play for a 6-2 lead midway through the third before Minnesota scored twice in 21 seconds on goals from Hunt and Kunin.

NOTES: Minnesota fell to 14-1-4 in home openers in franchise history. They entered the game first in league history in point percentage in home openers. … The Wild honoured the National Anthem singer for the Minnesota North Stars, Jim Bowers, before the game. Bowers died in the off-season and the team used a video rendition of Bowers signing the anthem on Saturday. Minnesota’s new executive advisor, Mike Modano, did the customary “Let’s play hockey” call before the game. … Murray won his 100th career regular season game, becoming the fourth goaltender in franchise history to reach the mark. Murray is the quickest of the four, hitting the milestone in just his 166th career appearance. Only six goaltenders have reached the mark quicker in the post-expansion era. … The Wild play six of their first seven and 17 of 26 games on the road this season. The nine home games in October and November are the fewest in franchise history.


Penguins: At Winnipeg on Sunday.

Wild: At Ottawa on Monday.


More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports

Brian Hall, The Associated Press

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