UnitedHealthcare Health insurance that includes all Western PA hospitals
Wednesday March 20 2019
Leave this field empty.

Crosby, Kessel lead Pens past Wild, 3-2

PSR Logo
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 December. Phil Kessel had a goal and two assists, and Sidney Crosby added a goal and an 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.

“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.

Mikko Koivu scored for the first time in 15 games and Zach Parise added his 17th goal of the season for the Wild. Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves for Minnesota, which has lost eight of its past 11 games.

Koivu started a rush from his defensive zone and got a pass from Nino Niederreiter in the slot, sending a quick shot past DeSmith.

Given their first power-play, the Penguins tied the game with Kessel sending a pass through defenseman Ryan Suter’s legs to Crosby alone on the back side for an easy tap-in goal.

It was the fifth-straight goal on the power-play for Pittsburgh.

Kessel scored his 17th goal of the season with 21 seconds left in the first period when his shot from the side deflected off Suter’s stick past Dubnyk.

Riley Sheahan scored in the second period for the Penguins and DeSmith was it his best in the period. Minnesota had 13 shots in a scoreless second.

“It’s all about, as a goaltender, kind of managing in the game and knowing when they’re pressing and doing what you can to hold them off until your team finds a way to push back and respond,” DeSmith said. “Luckily, I was able to do that a little bit during the second period and we got some guys who did a great job finishing their chances tonight.”

Share
PSR VIDEO
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Penguins TV Channel
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Penguins TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3
Josh Bell had not hit a walk-off home run since he was a member of the Altoona Curve in 2015. He changed that Friday with a soaring shot for the left field loonies.
Custom 1North Shore Notes
Francisco Cervelli is as passionate about the current state of Venezuela as anybody you'll find. Last month, the Pirates' catcher spoke passionately about the movement, his country's state of affairs and the future of Venezuela.
Custom 2North Shore NotesPress Room
Gustav Nyquist and Jimmy Howard led the way for the Red Wings, who landed Pittsburgh its fourth straight regulation loss.
Blue LineCustom 3Press Room
Monday night was more than a game. For Jameson Taillon, it was another heave in an ongoing push to liberation from a disease that can break down the toughest of men.
Custom 4North Shore NotesPress Room