Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, Zach Aston-Reese

Aston-Reese’s 3-Point Night Powers Penguins to 7-2 Rout of Jets

WINNIPEG — Zach Aston-Reese had a pair of goals and added an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Winnipeg Jets 7-2 on Sunday night.

Sam Lafferty and Jake Guentzel also had two goals apiece for the Penguins (4-2-0), while Dominik Simon had the other.

Tristan Jarry made 27 saves for the win.

Mathieu Perreault and Mark Scheifele scored for the Jets (4-3-0), who got 21 stops from Laurent Brossoit in net.

Both teams were playing back-to-back games and lacked zip in the first period, but Perreault scored the opener at 1:47 when a centring puck he flipped in front of the Pittsburgh net glanced off a defender’s stick and past netminder Jarry.

The celebration was short-lived as Aston-Reese tied it up a few minutes later when, as he was falling to the ice in front of the Winnipeg net, he slipped a loose rebound past Brossoit at 4:09 for his first goal this season.

Guentzel scored on a power play at 7:50 of the second to give the Penguins the lead and then, just 41 seconds later, a puck bounced behind the net and back out right in front of Lafferty was slammed home to make it 3-1.

Scheifele narrowed it by backhanding a rebound past Jarry on a power play at the 10-minute mark but Simon erased that at 16:28 with a puck that pinballed through traffic before ending up in the Jets’ net. It was also his first of the season.

Mark Scheifele Winnipeg Jets
Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Patrik Laine picked up an assist on Scheifele’s goal but he couldn’t find the net, despite one great chance right in front of Jarry that went high.

The Jets seemed to find more steam at the start of the third after coach Paul Maurice made some line changes but couldn’t turn things around, striking out on their fourth power play.

Instead, Lafferty scored again at 9:32 when his shot glanced off Winnipeg defenceman Anthony Bittetto’s skate. Then Guentzel beat Brossoit for his second of the game and fourth of the season at 11:40 to make it 6-2.

Aston-Reese scored his second of the game short-handed on a breakaway just seven seconds into a Winnipeg power play at 14:46 to continue the rout.

The Jets edged the Penguins on shots, 29-28.

Winnipeg had less trouble on their first meeting this season with the Penguins, walking away from PPG Paints Arena with a 4-1 win last Tuesday.

Sunday’s game was the first of a six-game home stand for the Jets.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13.

Scott Edmonds, The Canadian Press

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