Penguins break out vs. Jackets

Malkin suffers injury

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins rebounded from a season-opening dud.

Jared McCann scored twice as the Penguins had five goals in the second period to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2 on Saturday night.

The offensive outburst helped Pittsburgh rediscover its confidence after making 17 turnovers in a home loss to Buffalo on Thursday.

Pittsburgh scored five goals on 14 second-period shots. The last time Pittsburgh scored five goals in a period came on Jan. 16, 2017, against Washington.

“I thought our confidence built as the game went on,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I thought we were playing on our toes and I thought we mounted a pretty good attack. There’s still some areas where we know we have to clean up, but I thought the guys played hard.”

The Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin left in the second period and did not return with an undisclosed injury. He ran into D Kris Letang near center ice and awkwardly fell into the boards. Malkin, the 2012 NHL MVP, scored a power-play goal against Buffalo on Thursday.

Center Nick Bjugstad also left and didn’t return for Pittsburgh. Sullivan said after the game that Malkin and Bjugstad were being evaluated and he didn’t have an update on their status.

McCann tied a career high with three points. The other time came as a member of the Florida Panthers when he had a goal and two assists on March 20, 2018. McCann scored two goals once with Pittsburgh on March 23 last season against Dallas.

“It’s huge, but I can’t take all the credit,” McCann said. “My linemates did most of the work and found me. I just tried to get it to the net.”

Patric Hornqvist scored twice and Letang had a power-play goal, while Teddy Blueger and Marcus Pettersson also scored for Pittsburgh. Alex Galchenyuk, acquired from Arizona in a trade for Phil Kessel, recorded two assists for his first two points with Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby also had two assists.

Matt Murray made 28 saves and is now two wins from 100 in his NHL career.

Gustav Nyquist scored his first goal for Columbus and Zach Werenski scored for the Blue Jackets, who lost their second game in as many days. Columbus lost its season-opener 4-1 to Toronto at home and has been outscored 11-3 in two games. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 31 shots in his NHL debut.

“It’s an opportunity for us right away at the beginning of the year to teach about patience, to teach about how we have to play,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. “Hopefully, we’ll go about it the right way.”

On the ice

Tonight: Idle

Next: Winnipeg Jets at Pittsburgh Penguins, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

TV: AT&T SportsNet


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