EditorsNote: changes ‘starts’ to ‘games’ in 5th graf
Casey DeSmith made 26 saves, and Phil Kessel, Nick Bjugstad and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and an assist Thursday to pace the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins to their third straight win, 5-0 over the Buffalo Sabres.
It was the fourth career shutout and third of the season for DeSmith, who had not started since Feb. 21.
Pittsburgh (39-23-9) avoided being swept in the season series, having lost the first two meetings with Buffalo in overtime.
Brian Dumoulin and Patric Hornqvist also scored, and Sidney Crosby had two assists to give him 31 points in the past 17 games.
Goalie Carter Hutton made 23 saves for Buffalo (30-31-9), which was shut out for the third straight game and has lost six in row. Hutton had been 3-0-0 with two shutouts in five career games against Pittsburgh.
After a scoreless first period, Pittsburgh struck three times in the second.
Kessel picked up his third goal in five games at 6:40 during a power play. Crosby threaded a pass from the bottom of the right circle to the opposite side, where Kessel one-timed the puck behind Hutton.
At 15:07, Dumoulin made it 2-0 on a shot through traffic from the top of the slot but on a play made by Evgeni Malkin. The Penguins center carried the puck down the left side of the Sabres’ zone, swept behind the net with Buffalo defenseman Brandon Montour chasing, darted into the far circle and fed a pass to Dumoulin.
At 17:08, Hornqvist’s power-play goal increased the lead to 3-0. The winger scored on a rebound, reaching across the top of the crease to backhand the puck past Hutton’s right skate.
DeSmith made point-blank stops on Buffalo’s Conor Sheary and Jeff Skinner in the second.
Bjugstad notched his 200th career point with a goal at 10:07 of the third to make it 4-0. He came off the bench as Buffalo failed to control the puck in Pittsburgh’s end, allowing it to come to Bjugstad, who cruised down the right side and beat Hutton glove side.
Guentzel added a power-play goal on a tip with 1:58 left.
—Field Level Media