PITTSBURGH — Jake Guentzel and Jared McCann scored in a shootout, and the Pittsburgh Penguins ended a 10-game losing streak against the Chicago Blackhawks by rallying for a 3-2 victory Saturday night.
Pittsburgh beat the Blackhawks for the first time since March 30, 2014 by scrambling back from a two-goal deficit. Guentzel’s eighth of the season late in the second period gave the Penguins life, and Rust’s fifth since his return from injured reserve tied it midway through the third period.
Matt Murray finished with 29 saves for the Penguins and turned away Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat in the shootout. Pittsburgh played most of the third period without captain Sidney Crosby, who left with an undisclosed injury.
Patrick Kane collected his sixth goal of the season for Chicago and scored in the shootout. Dominik Kubalik added his fourth for Chicago. Corey Crawford made 29 saves but couldn’t stop Guentzel or McCann in the shootout.
Two days after putting together a stunning comeback against the New York Islanders — they overcame a three-goal third period deficit to win in overtime — the Penguins followed a similar script.
Chicago squandered a chance to take the lead early in the second period when it failed to convert on an extended 5-on-3 power play. Kane had an excellent opportunity for the right circle but his one-timer missed everything, sailing over the goal, over the boards and into the netting.
Crawford turned aside Pittsburgh’s surge after the teams returned to full strength, and Kubalik gave the Blackhawks the lead 7:09 into the second when Penguins defenceman Brian Dumoulin whiffed while trying to keep the puck in the offensive zone. The mistake led to a 3-on-1 the other way, with Kubalik taking a feed from Brandon Saad and slamming it past Murray for his fourth of the season.
Kane doubled Chicago’s advantage just 98 seconds later, pouncing on the puck after teammate Calvin De Haan blocked a shot and racing the other way before beating Murray with a wrist shot at 9:47 to extend his scoring streak to a season-high five games.
Just as they did against the Islanders, Pittsburgh scrambled back. Guentzel drew the Penguins within 2-1 with 3:56 left in the second, though Malkin did much of the dirty work, swiping the puck near centre ice, zipping down the left side and beating Slater Koekkoek to the post. Malkin then slipped a pass between Koekkoek and Crawford to a wide-open Guentzel racing down the slot. Guentzel easily put the puck into the open net for his eighth of the season.
Rust tied it when he finished off an extended Penguins’ push by camping below the left dot and delivering when a pass from John Marino found his stick.
Pittsburgh D Kris Letang missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury that coach Mike Sullivan described as “week to week.” … The Penguins scratched Letang, D Chad Ruhwedel and C Sam Lafferty. … Chicago scratched D Adam Boqvist and C Kirby Dach. … Chicago D Olli Maatta, who won a pair of Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017, played 18:09. … The Blackhawks went 0 for 2 on the power play. … The Penguins were 0 for 3 with the man advantage. … Pittsburgh’s has killed off 14 consecutive penalties and 20 of its last 21 overall.
Blackhawks: Host Toronto on Sunday.
Penguins: Visit Metropolitan Division rivals the New York Rangers for the first time this season on Tuesday.
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Will Graves, The Associated Press