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Penguins top Blues for ninth win in a row

Sportsnaut
Jan 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  St. Louis Blues defenseman Niko Mikkola (77) and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) exchange punches during the second period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Niko Mikkola (77) and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) exchange punches during the second period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan Rust had two goals and an assist Wednesday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins erased two two-goal deficits to win their ninth straight game, 5-3 over the visiting St. Louis Blues.

Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Evan Rodrigues each added a goal and an assist, Brock McGinn scored, and Kris Letang and Jake Guentzel each had two assists.

Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith allowed three goals on 16 shots before being replaced during the second period by Tristan Jarry. In his first appearance since contracting COVID-19, Jarry stopped all 13 shots he faced.

Brayden Schenn had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Kyrou and Colton Parayko scored for the Blues, who are 7-2-1 in their past 10 games.

St. Louis goaltender Jordan Binnington made 36 saves.

Schenn, in his return from a lower-body injury, opened the scoring 20 seconds into the second period on a St. Louis power play. A knuckler from the left circle gave Schenn his 200th career goal and the Blues a 1-0 lead.

Kyrou increased the lead to 2-0 at 8:45 of the second. He scored on an uncontested wrist shot from the slot glove side.

At 13:30 of the second during a four-on-three power play, Rust closed it to 2-1 on a slick play. He batted his own rebound out of the air from near the right post and over Binnington’s right shoulder.

Parayko answered 19 seconds later to restore St. Louis’ two-goal edge on a screened shot from above the left hash marks.

That chased DeSmith.

Rust struck again at 15:46 of the second. Crosby threaded a pass from the left-wing boards to Rust in the far circle, and Rust lifted a shot over Binnington’s glove to bring the Penguins to 3-2.

Crosby tied it at 12:23 of the third when he swept the puck in from just above the crease.

The Blues unsuccessfully challenged that Crosby committed goalie interference, giving Pittsburgh a power play. Twelve seconds later, Rodrigues gave the Penguins a 4-3 lead with a one-timer from the left dot off a pass from Letang.

McGinn’s short-range one-timer with 1:39 provided the final margin.

–Field Level Media