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Third-period surge propels Penguins past Knights

Sportsnaut
Mar 11, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Michael Amadio (22) moves the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman John Marino (6) during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Michael Amadio (22) moves the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman John Marino (6) during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Friedman, Bryan Rust and Evan Rodrigues scored third-period goals Friday to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins past the visiting Vegas Golden Knights 5-2.

Rust and Jeff Carter each had a goal and an assist and Mike Matheson also scored for the Penguins, who were 0-1-1 in their previous two.

Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry made 40 saves.

Jack Eichel and Alex Pietrangelo scored and Jonathan Marchessault had two assists for the Golden Knights, who lost their third in a row.

Vegas goaltender Laurent Brossoit, starting for the second consecutive night, made 28 saves.

The Golden Knights were without several injured players, including No. 1 goaltender Robin Lehner (lower-body injury), and winger Max Pacioretty did not play in the third period for an undisclosed reason.

Pittsburgh was without defenseman Brian Dumoulin (non-COVID illness) and winger Kasperi Kapanen, who was scratched for the first time this season.

Matheson, back after missing five games because of an unspecified injury, opened the scoring with 1:06 left in the first period. From the right dot, Matheson hit the far top corner for a 1-0 Pittsburgh lead.

At 2:36 of the second, Carter upped it to 2-0. Brock McGinn moved in on a semi-breakaway. He was stopped by Brossoit, but Carter poked the puck past the goalie to end a 10-game goal drought.

Valtteri Puustinen, making his NHL debut, got the secondary assist for his first career point.

Eichel cut the Golden Knights’ deficit in half at 4:19 of the second. Pacioretty created a scramble with a pass toward the crease. Marchessault took a whack at the puck before Eichel lifted it over Jarry’s left shoulder.

Just as four-on-four play was ending, Pietrangelo tied it for Vegas at 8:19 of the second. Left unguarded, he cruised down the right edge of the slot and flipped the puck over Jarry’s glove.

At 3:49 of the third, Friedman ripped a shot from the right circle for his third career goal to break the tie.

Rust’s 20th goal, on a backdoor play during a power play, pushed Pittsburgh’s lead to 4-2 at 14:39 of the third.

Rodrigues got an empty-netter with 2:17 left.

–Field Level Media