Penguins Beat Senators – Guentzel & Rust Get Two Each

PITTSBURGH — Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel each scored twice and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 5-3 on Friday night.

Teddy Blueger got his first NHL goal and Casey DeSmith stopped 37 shots as the Penguins won their second straight after losing four of their previous five.

Nick Bjugstad also contributed in his Pittsburgh debut hours after he was acquired from Florida, getting an assist on Rust’s first goal. He also won the offensive zone faceoff and provided a screen in front on Rust’s second goal.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bjugstad
Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bjugstad (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Bobby Ryan and Mikkel Boedker both scored power-play goals, and Matt Duchene scored on a breakaway for the Senators, who rallied to make it a one-goal game after falling behind, 4-1. Anders Nilsson stopped 35 shots as Ottawa, playing for the first time since Jan. 22, lost its third straight.

Earlier in the day, the Penguins acquired forwards Bjugstad and Jared McCann from the Panthers for forwards Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan and three 2019 draft picks. The deal gives the Penguins an influx of youth in the 26-year-old Bjugstad and the 22-year-old McCann as they make another playoff push.

Bjugstad scored five goals and 12 points in 32 games with the Panthers, while McCann had eight goals and 18 points in 46 games with Florida. Both are signed through the 2020 season, with Bjugstad’s deal expiring the following year.

Related THW Content: Penguins Trade Brassard to Panthers

Bjugstad and McCann arrived at the arena minutes before faceoff and they hurried to join their teammates on the ice. They first appeared on the bench prior to the start of the national anthem. With Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup, Bjugstad centred the second line, while McCann was the third-line centre. Malkin, who recorded his 600th NHL assist on Wednesday, will also miss Saturday’s game at Toronto with an upper-body injury.

Blueger scored his first NHL goal 3:19 into the game. Matt Cullen dropped a pass from the corner to Blueger, who ripped a glove-hand slap shot behind Nilsson from the left faceoff dot.

Guentzel scored later in the period, one-timing Sidney Crosby’s backhand feed from the slot.

Rust gave Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead in the second period with a glove-side wrist shot from between the circles.

Ryan cut into the Pittsburgh lead with a second-period power-play goal. He finished a one-timer from Ryan Dzingel at the top of the crease.

Rust’s second goal gave the Penguins a 4-1 lead midway through the third. The three-goal lead wasn’t safe after Boedker’s power-play goal and Duchene’s breakaway finish, but Guentzel closed the game with a late goal for Pittsburgh.

NOTES: Ottawa’s Colin White returned after missing five games with a shoulder injury. … Crosby is three games from tying Hall of Fame owner Mario Lemieux’s franchise record of 915 games played. … Guentzel has seven goals in his last eight games. … Phil Kessel is two points from becoming the 17th American-born player to reach 800 points. … Ottawa’s Mark Stone recorded his 300th NHL point.


Senators: Host Detroit on Saturday.

Penguins: Visit Toronto on Saturday.

Dan Scifo, The Associated Press