Crosby has two goals, two assists to push Penguins past Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn.– Sidney Crosby had two goals and two assists, and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Minnesota Wild 6-4 on Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.

Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists, and Tristan Jarry made 19 saves for the Penguins (7-7-3), who won for the third time in their last five games.

“Two points on the road,” Guentzel said. “It’s good to get two points. Some things need to be cleaned up, but we’re playing against a tough team tonight, so it’s good to get two points.”

Joel Eriksson Ex scored twice, i Filip Gustavsson made 26 saves for the Wild (7-8-2), who have lost three straight and five of seven.

“Playing in the NHL is not easy. It’s not going to be easy,” Gustavsson said. “We have to work a lot harder than we are right now and find a way to win. It’s more fun to win. Everybody hates to lose. We have to stop doing that.”

Video: [email protected]: Crosby’s grounder makes it 1-0 in the first

Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 8:15 of the first period with a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle, and Ryan Poehling made it 2-0 at 17:03 with a one-time pass from Teddy Blueger.

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The Penguins allowed five shots on goal and made two of their four shots in the opening period.

“We got off to a good start,” Crosby said. “We didn’t have many shots, but I thought we controlled the game.”

Brandon Duhaime cut it to 2-1 at 4:31 of the second period after Marcus Foligno intercepted the puck at the blue line and fed it for a shot from the right circle.

Eriksson Ek scored 12 seconds later to tie the game at 2-2 at 4:43 when he crashed the net and dunked in his rebound, but Kris Letang scored his first of the season to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead at 18:20 on a one-timer on a 5-on-3 power play.

“I thought the 5-on-3 goal in the second period was a big goal for our team, just a big momentum swing for us,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “Those guys worked hard on it and I was happy for them.

“There was a lot to like about the game. We still had a few lapses in the game where we hurt ourselves, so to speak. We have to continue to work on getting better in those circumstances. For most of the night, we really liked our game. Obviously, when you score so many goals it helps your chances.”

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Crosby made it 4-2 at 5:50 of the third period with a backdoor tap-in on the power play.

Video: [email protected]: Crosby scores his second goal of the game

Eriksson Ek made it 4-3 at 11:23, scoring on a shorthanded rush.

Brock McGinn made it 5-3 at 14:43 with a wrist shot off a loose Wild forward Mats Zuccarelloand Guentzel scored an empty-net goal to make it 6-3 at 16:31.

“Obviously we’re not scoring enough goals,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. “You can look at four, but we had opportunities, probably, earlier to score and we didn’t. The first half we were down. We played a good period, but we fought. We got married. We got back into the game and obviously, we didn’t done enough as a group to do that.”

Matt Dumba he scored with eight seconds remaining on a one-timer from the left circle for a 6-4 final.

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“We have a lot of new guys in the lineup and we have to find our identity and play the full 60 minutes and that’s how we have to win,” Foligno said. “We have to win games 2-1. It’s going to be ugly. We don’t have the firepower we thought we had… We need guys to step up. I just feel like we have to find our identity becoming [a team] who wins close games.”

NOTES: Wild raiders Kirill Kaprizov (six points; two goals, four assists) and Zuccarello (five points; one goal, four assists) extended their point streak to five games. … Crosby scored his 100th career game-opening goal, becoming the second active NHL player to reach the mark (Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, 134), and tied Mario Lemieux for the most in Penguins history. He passed Gordie Howe for 10th most three-pointers in NHL history (163) and is one behind Jari Kurri. … Minnesota forward Tyson Jost had 7:54 ice time after being a healthy scratch in three games.



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