January 9, 2019 / 3:05 AM / in 6 months

Rust's 2-goal night propels Pens past Panthers

EditorsNote: 8th graf, change 3:27 to 3:03

Bryan Rust scored twice Tuesday, including one of the Penguins’ two short-handed goals, and Pittsburgh earned a 5-1 win over the visiting Florida Panthers.

Tanner Pearson and Riley Sheahan scored, Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, and Marcus Pettersson notched two assists for the Penguins, who have won nine of 10.

Goaltender Matt Murray stopped 36 of 37 Florida shots to run his personal winning streak to eight games.

Aleksander Barkov scored for Florida, which lost its third straight (0-2-1).

Roberto Luongo allowed four goals on 16 shots before yielding to James Reimer, who stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced.

The Penguins lost two wingers to injury. Patric Hornqvist took a puck to the face in the first period, and Zach Aston-Reese left after a third-period fight.

Pearson opened the scoring for Pittsburgh 1:29 into the first period on a heater from the right dot.

Rust made it 2-0 at 3:03 of the first. Crosby, from the neutral zone, connected with Jake Guentzel, who from the blue line tipped it ahead to himself around Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Guentzel set up Rust, who moved down the slot and deked forehand to backhand to deposit the puck past Luongo’s skate.

With his team short-handed, Rust scored his second of the game — and got his 100th NHL point — at 3:04 of the second to make it 3-0. This time, he went backhand to forehand to beat Luongo off a feed from Matt Cullen.

Sheahan forced a turnover and scored short-handed on a screened shot at 8:56 of the second to push it to 4-0, chasing Luongo.

Ekblad had a potential power-play goal at 9:27 of the second erased when Pittsburgh successfully challenged that the Panthers were offside.

Ekblad’s shot was tipped in by Barkov with 43.9 seconds left in the second. The goal survived a Penguins goaltender-interference challenge and spoiled Murray’s shutout bid.

Crosby redirected an Evgeni Malkin shot during four-on-four play at 13:41 of the third, making it 5-1 and giving Crosby a 20-goal season for the 12th time in his career.

—Field Level Media

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