Pens get much-needed win
By Dan Scifo
The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, Casey DeSmith stopped 39 shots and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 on Saturday night to snap a five-game losing streak.
The losing streak was Pittsburgh’s longest since it lost five in a row from Dec. 11-19, 2015, which included the first four games under coach Mike Sullivan. The Penguins haven’t lost six straight since 2006. Pittsburgh also ended a four-game home losing streak and continued a six-game points streak against Arizona.
DeSmith had his second shutout of the season and third of his career. DeSmith, signed by Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent in July 2017, has allowed five goals in his last six appearances. Starter Matt Murray served as the backup for the second straight game. He has one win in five home starts.
Crosby scored his eighth goal, and Dominik Simon also had a goal and an assist. Patric Hornqvist scored his fifth, and Brian Dumoulin had his first goal in 22 games for Pittsburgh.
Darcy Kuemper stopped 28 shots for the Coyotes. They lost their third straight game after winning the previous five. Arizona hasn’t won in Pittsburgh since March 25, 2014.
Crosby broke a scoreless deadlock at 6:42 of the second period. Crosby, streaking down the right side, lifted a backhander from a sharp angle over the shoulder of a standing Kuemper.
Simon extended the lead 1:52 later when he redirected a Bryan Rust pass behind Kuemper from the top of the crease.
Hornqvist made it a 3-0 game with 15.3 seconds to play in the second period. Hornqvist one-timed a behind-the-net feed from Simon over Kuemper’s blocker.
Game notes: The Penguins have won seven of their last nine against Arizona. Phil Kessel has a 10-game point streak against Arizona with points in 13 of 16 career meetings. … D Ilya Lyubushkin replaced D Alex Goligoski in the Coyotes’ lineup, who is out with a lower-body injury. Penguins’ F Derick Brassard (lower body) missed his seventh straight game. F Garrett Wilson and D Juuso Riikola played in place of D Jamie Oleksiak and F Daniel Sprong, who were scratched for Pittsburgh. F Josh Archibald played for F Richard Panik, while D Dakota Mermis also sat for Arizona.
Coyotes: At Washington on Sunday night.
Penguins: At New Jersey on Tuesday night.