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Penguins send Canadiens to seventh straight loss

Sportsnaut
Dec 14, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson (5) handles the puck ahead of Montreal Canadiens right wing Jesse Ylonen (56) during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 14, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson (5) handles the puck ahead of Montreal Canadiens right wing Jesse Ylonen (56) during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Rodrigues had a goal and two assists Tuesday to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to their fifth straight win, 5-2 over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

Kasperi Kapanen, Mike Matheson, Brian Dumoulin and Brian Boyle also scored, and Sidney Crosby added two assists for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry made 28 saves to improve to 8-1-1 over his past 10 starts.

Jonathan Drouin had a goal and an assist, and Jesse Ylonen scored for the Canadiens, who fell to 0-6-1 in their past seven.

Montreal goaltender Jake Allen made 26 saves.

Kapanen got the only goal of the first, at 11:08. The puck caromed off Rodrigues’ skate in the slot and toward the net. From near the left post, Kapanen choked up on his stick and batted the puck from the air over Allen.

On a power play at 6:45 of the second, Rodrigues boosted Pittsburgh’s lead to 2-0. Kris Letang set up Rodrigues for a rising one-timer at the left dot.

The assist was Letang’s 600th point, making him the 43rd defenseman, seventh active, to reach that mark.

Drouin cut it to 2-1 just 14 seconds later. The Penguins turned the puck over in their end. Laurent Dauphin snagged it and sent it to Drouin in front. With Jarry leaning the wrong way, Drouin easily scooped in a backhand.

Pittsburgh got its first goal from a defenseman since Nov. 4 when Matheson scored on a screened shot from above the right hash marks at 11:27 of the second for a 3-1 lead.

With three seconds left in the second, Ylonen picked up his first career goal in his fourth game, a one-timer through traffic from the right point to close it to 3-2.

Dumoulin made it two goals by Pittsburgh defensemen in the game, scoring 28 seconds into the third. Crosby dangled the puck in the Montreal end before setting up Dumoulin at the left point.

Crosby became the 14th NHL player with 400 multiple-point games.

Boyle’s rising, far-side blast from the top of the right circle increased Pittsburgh’s lead to 5-2 at 9:38 of the third.

–Field Level Media