PITTSBURGH (AP) – Phil Kessel scored a power-play goal at 3:59 of overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Evgeni Malkin pushed a loose puck from the slot to Kessel, and he finished near the side of the net for the Penguins’ fifth victory in seven games.
Tanner Pearson scored against his former team, and Matt Cullen and Bryan Rust also had goals for the Penguins. Matt Murray made 38 saves for his first victory since Oct. 25 at Calgary.
Murray stopped Tyler Toffoli’s breakaway in the first 30 seconds of overtime. The goalie also denied a quality overtime chance from Jake Muzzin in the slot.
Muzzin, Matt Luff and Alex Iafallo scored for Los Angeles, and Jonathan Quick stopped 32 shots. The Kings have lost four straight and eight of 10.
Iafallo tied it at 3 with a power-play goal at 12:30 of the third period.
Murray missed the previous nine games with a lower-body injury before backing up Casey DeSmith the last two contests. He made his first start since Nov. 17 when he was pulled for the third time in six starts during a loss at Ottawa.
Murray, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, struggled through his first 11 games, posting a 4-5-1 record with a 4.08 goals-against average and a .877 save percentage.
Cullen’s short-handed goal opened the scoring for Pittsburgh. It was the Penguins’ second of the season and second in as many games.
Rust extended the Penguins’ lead to 2-0 later in the period when he beat Quick to the glove side with a wrist shot.
Toffoli scored in the first period for the Kings, but the goal was overturned following a Pittsburgh offsides challenge.
Muzzin’s goal stood at 3:22 of the second period. Muzzin, a former Penguins’ draft pick, finished a one-timer from Anze Kopitar during an odd-man rush.
Pearson put Pittsburgh in front 3-1 midway through the second period. He stripped Drew Doughty of the puck at the Kings’ blueline, eluded Quick’s poke check and elevated a shot above the fallen Kings’ goaltender.
Pearson skated four full seasons and parts of two others with the Kings before he was traded to the Penguins on Nov. 14 in exchange for Carl Hagelin, who is out with a lower-body injury. Pearson, who won a Stanley Cup with Los Angeles in 2014, has four goals and six points in 16 games with Pittsburgh.
Luff pulled Los Angeles back within one when he beat Murray to the blocker side with a wrist shot from the slot.
NOTES: Pittsburgh has won four straight at home. … The Penguins played without D Kris Letang, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury sustained Friday in a collision with Boston Bruins’ F Joakim Nordstrom. Juuso Riikola took Letang’s spot in the lineup. … Kings’ D Dion Phaneuf missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. … Pittsburgh F Jake Guentzel extended an eight-game home point streak.
Kings: Host Winnipeg on Tuesday night.
Penguins: Host Anaheim on Monday night.
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