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NHL: Pittsburgh 5, Minnesota 2

  |   Dec. 19, 2013 at 10:16 PM
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Chris Kunitz completed a Pittsburgh offensive outburst during the first half of the contest Thursday and the Penguins went on to dispose of Minnesota 5-2.

Pittsburgh won its sixth in a row, tying idle Anaheim for the longest current winning streak in the NHL.

Kunitz put a slap shot past Niklas Backstrom with 9:17 to go in the second period, giving the Penguins a 4-0 lead. It was the 19th tally of the season for Kunitz, moving him into the top five among NHL goal scorers this season and bringing him within seven of equaling his career-best campaign of two years ago.

Pascal Dupuis scored a mere 49 seconds into the game and both Brandon Sutter and Matt Niskanen had second-period goals for the Penguins.

The Wild cut their deficit to 4-2 before Olli Maatta scored shorthanded for the Penguins 7:54 into the third.

Jeff Zatkoff improved his record to 6-2-0 by making 24 saves. Backstrom allowed all five Pittsburgh goals on 36 shots.

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