Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins skated to victory Saturday. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored twice Saturday night, including the winner when he batted the puck out of the air in the third period, as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Florida Panthers 4-3 at PPG Paints Arena.
Patric Hornqvist and Greg McKegg also scored and Kris Letang added two assists for Pittsburgh (3-2-1), which is 8-0-2 in its past 10 games against Florida with five wins in a row at home. Matt Murray made 43 saves to improve to 3-0-1 for the Penguins.
Jonathan Huberedau scored twice, Aaron Ekblad also tallied and Evgenii Dadonov had two assists for the Panthers (2-2-0). Florida's James Reimer (1-1-0) stopped 29 shots as the teams combined for 79 shots in a fast-paced game.
The Penguins' power play got the only goal of the first.
Phil Kessel, from the left circle, got a pass through to Crosby, stationed at the left post. Crosby deflected to puck over Reimer's pad for a 1-0 lead at 6:46.
Crosby has at least one point in five of Pittsburgh's six games and moved into a tie for the team lead with eight points.
Florida tied it at 5:25 of the second when Huberdeau extended his point streak to four games. He whipped a shot from the low slot inside the left post after Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin whiffed on an attempt to break up a pass from Dadonov.
Pittsburgh regained the lead on McKegg's first career short-handed goal at 6:40 of the second. Fellow penalty-killer Tom Kuhnhackl picked up the puck in the neutral zone and stormed down the slot but was covered tightly by Keith Yandle. Kuhnhackl shoveled the puck back for McKegg to finish off for his first goal in a Pittsburgh uniform, against his former club.
Huberdeau's second goal, on a rebound during a power play at 8:30 of the second, pulled the Panthers even at 2-2.
Hornqvist kept the back-and-forth scoring going and gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead when he got several whacks at a rebound at 13:36 of the second. Olli Maatta's assist gave him a four-game point streak.
Crosby, again near the left post, expertly batted a pass from Letang, drastically changing the direction of the puck and putting it in off of Reimer's body at 1:59 of the third for a 4-2 Pittsburgh lead.
Ekblad made it a one-goal game again at 6:18 when he ripped a shot from the top of the right circle that sailed over Murray's shoulder and under the crossbar. It was his 100th career point.
NOTES: Florida C Colton Sceviour left with 2:05 left in regulation after taking a hit from Pittsburgh RW Patric Hornqvist. There was no penalty. ... Pittsburgh G Matt Murray got his 44th career victory, tying him with GM Jim Rutherford for 10th in franchise history. ... Pittsburgh D Ian Cole skated solo before the team's game-day skate. He is on injured reserve after a blocked shot knocked out some of his teeth. ... Pittsburgh scratched LW Scott Wilson, RW Josh Archibald and D Chris Summers. Florida scratched RW Owen Tippett and D MacKenzie Weegar.