Hornqvist helps Pens pull away from Canadians
The Associated Press
MONTREAL — Patric Hornqvist’s second goal of the game gave Pittsburgh the lead in the third period, and the Penguins went on to beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 Thursday night.
Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust also scored for Pittsburgh, which remain tied with Washington in points atop the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals, however, currently hold the tiebreaker with two games in hand.
Tristan Jarry made 17 saves for his 14th win of the season while starter Matt Murray remains sidelined with a concussion.
Artturi Lehkonen, Paul Byron and Nicolas Deslauriers scored for Montreal, and Antti Niemi stopped 34 shots in his first regulation loss since Feb. 14.
Hornqvist put Pittsburgh in front for good with 7:36 remaining in the third period by deflecting Carl Hagelin’s shot past Niemi.
Rust added some insurance with an empty-netter with 1:53 left.
Montreal jumped ahead to a two-goal lead early in the first period with scores from Lehkonen and Byron.
Lehkonen deflected Jeff Petry’s shot past Jarry at 3:13 for his fourth goal in four games, and Byron made it 2-0 at 6:31 as he knocked in a rebound on the power play for his 17th.
The Penguins had two shots on net at that point in the game, but the deficit seemed to act as a wake-up call.
Kessel got Pittsburgh on the board at 10:05 on a 2-on-1 with Rust after a giveaway by Petry in his own zone.
Hornqvist tied it 2-2 when his centering pass to Hagelin in front of goal went off Byron’s stick and trickled past his own goalie.
It was all Pittsburgh in the second period as they outshot the Canadiens 18-4, but they only had one goal to show for their efforts.
Malkin put the Penguins in front 3-2 at 10:30 with a one-timer from the faceoff dot while playing with the man advantage.
Montreal tied it when Deslauriers found himself all alone in the slot two minutes later. The 27-year-old beat Jarry top shelf for his eighth.
Game notes: Penguins F Sidney Crosby had an assist on Malkin’s goal to move two away from 800 in his career.
Penguins: At the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
Canadiens: At Toronto on Saturday night.