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Sidney Crosby, Evan Rodrigues rally Penguins to win over Blues

Sidney Crosby and Evan Rodrigues rallied Penguins for victory over the Blues

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have been the NHL’s hottest team for the better part of a month. They were unable to overcome the St. Louis Blues in their opening match. Sidney Crosby took control.

Crosby and Evan Rodrigues were both able to score 12 seconds each in the third period. The Penguins won 5-3 over the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night.

Mike Sullivan, Penguins coach said that he thought he was going into beast mode tonight. “When he’s playing the game that way, he’s the standard bearer for the team.”

Bryan Rust scored twice and Brock McGinn also had a goal to help the Penguins win their ninth straight — their longest since a winning 15 in a row in March 2013. The streak, which is now the longest active in the league and tied Carolina’s longest for the season, has been completed. Pittsburgh’s last 17 games have been 14-2-1.

Crosby got his fifth, Rodrigues scored his 14th, McGinn scored his ninth. Pittsburgh, however, scored three in third, to overcome a 3-2 deficit.

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Sullivan expressed his gratitude for the resilience of the players. Our team has always been competitive. We’re not perfect. We’re striving for it.”

Casey DeSmith stopped 13 shots, but was pulled after the Blues’ third goal. He’s allowed three goals or more in 11 of his last 14 games dating back to last season. Tristan Jarry, who recently came off the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, stopped all 13 shots in relief.

Brayden Schein returned from injury and scored his fifth of this season as well as his 200th career goal. Jordan Kyrou continued to be hot, scoring his 13th goal of the season and Colton Parayko his fourth. Vladimir Tarasenko scored two assists, extending his point streak at six games. Jordan Binnington made 36 saves for the Blues. They lost their second consecutive game with a loss.

Schenn explained that most of their time was spent in the end. “They’re a team that’s fast and plays hard. It’s up to us to assume the reigns.”

Crosby tied it at 3-3 with 7:37 remaining in the third. Crosby with Niko Mikkola wrapped on his back, crossed the crease, and smashed a rebound past Binnington. Blues coach Craig Berube challenged for goaltender interference, but Crosby’s goal stood.

“The puck was in the goalie’s crease,” said Berube. “Crosby comes through the crease, His foot’s in the crease. It was his goal. It’s goalie interference.”

After 12 seconds, Rodrigues had given Pittsburgh the lead.

Things weren’t going Pittsburgh’s way early in the game, as the Penguins trailed for the first time since a loss at Edmonton on Dec. 1.

But midway through the second period, Mikkola punched Crosby and the visor cut the bridge of Crosby’s nose, which required stiches.

Minutes later, Rust scored a highlight-reel power-play goal when he knocked a rebound out of the air over Binnington’s shoulder to put Pittsburgh on the board.

Later in the third, Crosby fed Rust, who beat Binnington with a wrist shot off the rush, cutting the deficit to 3-2 and setting the stage for the Penguins’ third-period comeback.

Sullivan stated that “(Crosby), raises intensity level for our groups.” He creates an expectation in our group that runs through the bench.

SCHENN’S BACK

With Schenn’s return to the lineup, the Blues were their healthiest since late November. Robert Bortuzzo is the lone forward currently unavailable because of the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols.

Schenn played against Anaheim Dec. 12, his last game. He missed five games due to an injury in the upper body. Along with Pavel Buchnevich & Ivan Barbashev on the left wing, he skated 15:25 to score a goal.

STATS and STREAKS

Rust scored five goals and had five points on Sunday against San Jose. His seven last games have seen him score six goals as well as 13 points. Rodrigues had also a hat-trick against San Jose and has scored six goals as well as 11 points over the last eight games.

Jake Guentzel had two assists and has scored points in all 15 of his games, scoring 14 goals and 23 points. Crosby scored four goals in the 12 most recent games and has 19 points.

Tarasenko’s six-game point streak has seen him score six goals as well as 12 points. In his 10 most recent games, Tarasenko has scored six goals and 12 points. He also scores 16 points.

Kyrou set a Winter Classic Record with 2 goals, 4 points and has now scored 4 goals, 8 points and 3 in his three most recent games.

UPDATE ON PENGUIN ROSTER

Kasperi Kapanen, Teddy Blueger, and Kasperi Kapanen were able to play for the first-ever time after being taken off the league COVID-19 protocols lists.

Jeff Carter was able to skate with the team Wednesday for the first since he had been removed from COVID-19 protocols. However, he did no play. Evgenimalkin, who is still attempting to recover from his offseason knee surgery has missed 32 consecutive games.

Next

Washington hosts the Blues on Friday for a homestand of five games.

Penguins are in Philadelphia this Thursday for a six-game tour.

Source: FoxNews.com

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