PITTSBURGH (AP) – Sidney Crosby scored two goals, including a bad-angle deflection in the third period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins past the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Saturday night.
Crosby has three goals this season. Patric Hornqvist and Greg McKegg also scored for the Penguins, who are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games against the Panthers – their longest stretch without a regulation loss in the history of the series.
McKegg, who scored his first goal for Pittsburgh, spent time with the Panthers the last two seasons, compiling eight points in 46 games and appearing in a playoff game in 2016.
Matt Murray stopped 43 shots for Pittsburgh. He earned his 44th win, tying Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford for 10th in team history.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and Aaron Ekblad also had a goal for Florida. Evgeni Dadonov added two assists for the Panthers, unable to win a third straight game.
Huberdeau, Dadonov and Vincent Trocheck all have points in each of the Panthers’ first four games.
James Reimer made his second start of the season for Florida in place of Roberto Luongo, who is tied with Curtis Joseph for fourth all-time with 454 wins. Reimer made 29 saves.
Crosby scored his second of the game at 1:59 of the third period to give Pittsburgh a two-goal cushion. The Penguins’ captain redirected Kris Letang’s pass out of midair and the puck caromed off Reimer’s blocker and into the net.
Ekblad cut the Panthers’ deficit to one at 6:18 of the third with a slap shot that beat Murray. The Panthers, who average 40 shots per game, hit the post in the final minute, but were unable to get the equalizer.
Crosby opened the scoring at 6:46 of the first period with a power-play goal. He one-timed Phil Kessel’s pass from the right post.
The teams combined for three goals during a 3:05 span in the second.
Huberdeau tied it for the Panthers at 5:25 of the period, but McKegg put Pittsburgh ahead with a short-handed goal 1:15 later. Huberdeau scored his second of the game, this one on the power play, just 1:50 after McKegg’s goal.
The Penguins reclaimed the lead, 3-2, at 13:36 when Hornqvist jammed a rebound behind Reimer from the top of the crease.
NOTES: Ekblad’s goal was his 100th NHL point. . Penguins D Ian Cole, hit in the face with a puck last week against Nashville, skated on his own Saturday morning. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said Cole’s next step is to join the team. . Penguins D Olli Maatta had an assist, giving him points in a career-best four straight games.
Panthers: Play at Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Penguins: Visit the New York Rangers on Tuesday.
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