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Penguins cruise past Coyotes, snap 6-game skid

Jan 8, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith (1) warms up prior before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Guentzel scored twice on Sunday to help the Pittsburgh Penguins snap a six-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes in Tempe, Ariz.

Jason Zucker and Jeff Carter also scored, and Sidney Crosby added two assists for the Penguins, who were 0-4-2 in their past six games and won despite going 0-for-6 on the power play to extend their drought to 0-for-21 over the last four games.

Pittsburgh goaltender Casey DeSmith, who continues to start while Tristan Jarry is in Pittsburgh rehabbing from an unspecified lower-body injury, made 23 saves.

Barrett Hayton scored for the Coyotes, who lost their fifth straight and had their three-game home winning streak snapped.

Arizona goaltender Karel Vejmelka made 24 saves in his first regulation loss at home (6-1-2).

Arizona got the only goal of the first period. Clayton Keller sent a pass from the right circle toward the low slot. Hayton, above the far side of the crease, batted the puck out of the air to redirect it past DeSmith’s glove at 5:18 to make it 1-0.

Vejmelka preserved that lead later in the first when he made a pad save on Crosby, who had a breakaway.

Crosby set up Guentzel’s game-tying goal at 5:56 of the second. From beneath the left circle, Crosby got a pass through to Guentzel on the other side of the crease. Guentzel slammed the puck inside the right post to make it 1-1.

Guentzel struck again at 9:11 of the second to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead.

Below the right circle, Guentzel took a pass from Bryan Rust, who was in the slot. Vejmelka came out to challenge Guentzel, who held on to the puck until he saw an opening to score between the goalie’s pads.

At 10:58 of the third, Zucker gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead with a slick play. In the left circle, he took a feed from Evgeni Malkin. Zucker swooped in toward the net and across the low slot before lifting a backhander inside the right post.

Carter added an empty-netter with 1:05 left.

–Field Level Media