Penguins staying on a roll
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel are doing their part, continuing to pile up points for the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the team’s goaltenders might have been the headlining act in a big December.
Phil Kessel had a goal and two assists, and Sidney Crosby added a goal and assist as Pittsburgh kept rolling with a 3-2 win against the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.
Casey DeSmith, who stopped 40 shots to beat Minnesota on Dec. 20, made 31 saves for the Penguins, who have won eight of their past 10 games, a season-high six games in a row and finished December 11-3-1.
DeSmith was 6-3-1 in December with a 2.39 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. Matt Murray, since returning from a lower-body injury, was 5-0 with a 1.38 goals-against average and .959 save percentage for Pittsburgh. Heading into the game, the two combined for a .931 save percentage in the month, which led the league.
“I think they’ve got a nice, healthy competition amongst themselves right now,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “They’re both at their very best. They’re making timely saves for us. They’re making saves at key times in the game that give us a chance to either maintain a lead or get momentum back, whatever it may be.”
Kessel has three points in each of his past three games and Crosby has four straight games with multiple points for Pittsburgh, which tied its season high with its fourth straight road win.
Crosby has 10 points in the past four games. Kessel scored his 17th goal with 21 seconds left in the first period.