PITTSBURGH (AP) – Jake Guentzel scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 2-1 victory over the previously unbeaten Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.
Guentzel finished Sidney Crosby’s backhand feed from the slot at 7:24 of the third. Guentzel has five goals in five career games against the Ducks, including his second career hat trick last season.
Crosby also scored a power-play goal, his second of the season. He has multiple points in five of his last 10 games against Anaheim.
Matt Murray made 31 saves for the Penguins. He needs one more win to reach 100 in the NHL.
Pittsburgh concluded a season-opening, four-game homestand with a 2-2 record. The Penguins have won nine of their last 12 home games against Anaheim and nine of the last 13 overall versus the Ducks.
Ondrej Kase scored his first of the season for Anaheim, which tried to open a season with four straight wins for the first time in franchise history. The Ducks, who entered the NHL as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1993-94, started 3-0 last season and also in 2006-07, when they won the Stanley Cup.
John Gibson, a Pittsburgh native, stopped 26 shots. He allowed more than one goal for the first time this season.
Four of Pittsburgh’s top nine forwards were out of the lineup.
Evgeni Malkin, the 2012 NHL MVP, was placed on injured reserve Thursday. Alex Galchenyuk, acquired in an offseason trade with Phil Kessel, was placed on injured reserve a day earlier, while Nick Bjugstad missed his second game and Bryan Rust has been out since the start of the season. Patric Hornqvist was a game-time decision with a lower-body injury sustained Tuesday against Winnipeg, but he started on the Penguins’ second line.
Crosby opened the scoring 2:57 into the second period. He redirected Kris Letang’s point shot over Gibson’s pad from the side of the crease. Letang opened the season with points in four straight games for the second time in his career.
Kase tied the game for Anaheim 30 seconds later. Murray went briefly off his post and Kase squeezed a shot between his pad and blocker from the bottom of the left circle.
Pittsburgh went back on the power play with a two-man advantage for 61 seconds, but couldn’t manage a shot on goal. Dominik Kahun had a breakaway later in the period, but he rung a shot off the crossbar.
NOTES: Ducks F Ryan Getzlaf tied Corey Perry for the franchise lead in games played at 988. . Letang is three points from becoming the first defenseman in franchise history and ninth active to 500 points. He is two games from tying Jean Pronovost for fifth on the team’s game’s played list. . Rust worked out before the Penguins’ morning skate on Thursday. . Penguins D Erik Gudbranson was scratched in favor of John Marino, who made his NHL debut on Tuesday. . Crosby has points in 15 of 17 career games against Anaheim.
Ducks: Continue a four-game road trip Friday at Columbus.
Penguins: Play their first road game at Minnesota on Saturday.
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