The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

December 19, 2013

Penguins beat Wild for sixth straight win

PITTSBURGH — Chris Kunitz scored his 19th goal, Sidney Crosby had two assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins jumped out to a four-goal lead before beating the Minnesota Wild 5-2 Thursday night for their season-high sixth straight victory.

Rookie defenseman Olli Maatta sealed the Penguins’ win when he scored on a third-period penalty shot. Pascal Dupuis and Brandon Sutter each scored for the second consecutive game, and defenseman Matt Niskanen also tallied for Pittsburgh, which has won 11 of 12 overall and a nine straight home game.

Crosby extended his season-best point streak to nine games. He leads the league with 51 points.

Jason Pominville netted his team-high 16th goal and Dany Heatley scored 3:13 into the third period for the Wild, turning a three-goal deficit into a 4-2 game.

The Wild had an opportunity to make it a one-goal game shortly after with a 5-on-3 power play for 1:46, but the Penguins killed both penalties.

Matta was awarded a penalty shot after he was hauled down by Jonas Brodin on a breakaway.

The Wild played their first game without starting goalie Josh Harding, who was placed on injured reserve Wednesday. It’s a move that allows Harding time to make adjustments to medication for his multiple sclerosis. Harding, expected to return Dec. 27 at Winnipeg, led the league in goals-against average and ranked second in save percentage entering Thursday.

The Penguins, playing for the fifth time in nine nights, were without star forward Evgeni Malkin for the third straight game. Malkin, third in the league in scoring, injured his left leg last Saturday at Detroit. The Penguins were also without five of their top six defenseman for the third straight game, four injured and Deryk Engelland serving the third game of a five-game suspension for his hit on Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader.

Penguins’ forward James Neal returned to the lineup following a five-game suspension for kneeing Boston’s Brad Marchand in the head during a 3-2 loss to the Bruins. Neal was involved in a fight and had an assist.

The Wild are in the midst of a stretch where they play seven of eight games on the road. They won their last game, a 3-2 shootout victory at home against Vancouver on Tuesday.

It was a homecoming for Wild forward Matt Cooke, playing his first game in Pittsburgh where he spent five seasons before leaving this past summer by free agency.

Cooke, an instrumental piece of the Penguins’ 2009 Stanley Cup run, has just 20 penalty minutes in 36 games this season, but he was a polarizing figure in Pittsburgh, serving multiple suspensions for several hits. He was recognized in the first period with a scoreboard video tribute.

Dupuis opened the scoring 49 seconds into the game, slamming home a rebound from the top of the crease. Niklas Backstrom had trouble handling the initial shot, giving up a rebound – tipped in the air by Crosby – that fell into the paint, allowing Dupuis to give the Penguins the early lead.

The Penguins struck less than two minutes into the second period as Sutter scored his eighth of the season, a turning shot from the left faceoff dot.

Niskanen, who logged nearly 30 minutes of ice time Wednesday at New York, netted a power-play goal less than two minutes later with a slap shot from the point that got past a screened Backstrom.

Kunitz gave the Penguins a 4-0 lead seconds after a fight between Neal and Wild defenseman Keith Ballard, the third fight in two periods.

Crosby set up the goal with a no-look backhand pass from the corner to Kunitz, who buried a one-timer past Backstrom.

Pominville got the Wild on the board 37 seconds later, re-directing Nino Niederreiter’s shot behind Jeff Zatkoff.

Notes: The Penguins are 21-2 when scoring the first goal. ... Penguins’ forward Jayson Megna will miss the next six weeks with a lower body injury. ... Justin Fontaine, former Penguin Mike Rupp, and Nate Prosser were healthy scratches for Minnesota, while Brian Gibbons sat out for Pittsburgh. The Penguins host Calgary Saturday, while Minnesota visits the New York Rangers on Sunday.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAG 0720 AAABA League playoffs: Laurel Auto Group moves closer to advancing

    Second-seeded Laurel Auto Group fell behind early against No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Roxbury Park. But Laurel’s players didn’t lose their composure.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urtz, Pope lead AAABA League award votes

    Logan Urtz hadn’t fielded a ground ball as an infielder or swung a bat in a game for a couple seasons.
    But you can’t take the former infielder out of a starting pitcher.

    July 20, 2014

  • Blairsville pegged as team to beat

    As Heritage Conference football coaches assembled at United High School during Wednesday’s media day event at Thomas J. Madill Field, the near-consensus opinion is that Blairsville – under second-year coach Rick Artley – is going to be the team to beat once the season begins on Aug. 29.
    After the Bobcats, the forecasted picture gets a little foggier.

    July 30, 2014

  • tim Baserunning blunder helps Giants end six-game losing streak

    Clint Hurdle says he and a pal often marvel over how there’s always something new to see at a baseball game.
    Too bad for Hurdle. What he watched Wednesday wrecked the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-5 loss.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • shazier Rookie linebacker making impression at Steelers camp

    Ryan Shazier grew up the football equivalent of a Rorschach test.
    Some coaches looked at Shazier’s 6-foot-1 frame with plenty of room to grow and saw a defensive end.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greene’s No. 75 will be retired at Ravens game

    Joe Greene’s No. 75 now belongs to the ages.
    The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Wednesday the team will retire the Hall of Fame defensive end’s number during a game against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 2.

    July 30, 2014

  • levon Bell planning to do better

    Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.
    There were times during his rookie season when the Pittsburgh Steelers running back would place his hand on an offensive lineman’s back and wait patiently for the hole to open.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boilers advance in Pony series

    July 29, 2014

  • Martella’s Pharmacy, LAG name AAABA pickup players

    July 28, 2014

AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide