PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jake Guenzel scored with 33 seconds to go in overtime, giving the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.
The Penguins squandered a third-quarter lead, but Brian Rust tied it with 25 seconds left in regulation and Gunzel won the lead with his 18th goal of the season, as Pittsburgh Ended a two-game slide.
Jason Zuker scored his 11th goal of the season on his 31st birthday and Evgeny Malkin scored his 15th for Pittsburgh. Casey DeSmith stopped the ball for the second time in the last seven games with 26 wins.
A short-handed goal by John Klingberg with 8:46 left in regulation tied the Ducks, and just over four minutes later Trevor Zegras scored from an open field goal and Anaheim found itself with a chance to win its fifth road game of the season .
Pittsburgh stepped up the pressure late, and Rust broke through to help the Penguins escape.
Adam Henrique also scored for the Ducks. Pittsburgh native John Gibson had a solid game back home. Gibson stopped 42 shots but got no response when Guentzel came in late and scored with a wrist shot from close range.
Anaheim is destined to enter the NHL draft lottery. The Penguins have been regulars in the playoffs for the better part of the past two decades.
However, Pittsburgh has hit the midpoint of the season and it’s going to be hard to stay consistent. It didn’t help that veteran defensemen Kris Letang and Jeff Petry were injured along the blue line. Their absence sapped Pittsburgh’s firepower and led to a sluggish period in which goals were hard to come by.
Pittsburgh called forward Jonathan Gruden to help bring a little energy to the fourth line, and the rookie hit a field goal post in the first quarter,
Zucker’s lively performance was one of the few bright spots of late, as he gave the Penguins a 4:16 lead in the first quarter. Enrique tied it at 17:50 when he completed a frenzy in front of the Pittsburgh net to fend off a rebound from De Smith, who had already avoided two shots, but was caught by Enrique. Land on all fours when scoring a powerful goal.
When Malkin tucked the puck past a sprawled Gibson, he put Pittsburgh in the lead with 8:46 to go into the second period.
DeSmith has been inconsistent lately — he was pulled just seven minutes into Friday’s loss to Winnipeg — until late in the third quarter, when Klingberg and Xerglass put the Ducks ahead , almost hit the lore.
Ducks: Continue their long road trip in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Penguins: They start a home series with Ottawa when they visit the Senators on Wednesday.
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