10/13 23:13 CDT Aston-Reese has 2 goals and assist, Penguins beat Jets 7-2
Aston-Reese has 2 goals and assist, Penguins beat Jets 7-2
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) --- Injuries to some key players has forced the
Pittsburgh Penguins to play a simpler game, and it's working out quite well for
Zach Aston-Reese, Sam Lafferty and Jake Guentzel each had two goals to lead the
Pittsburgh Penguins to a 7-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night.
Dominik Simon also scored and Aston-Reese also had an assist for the Penguins.
Tristan Jarry stopped 27 shots.
"We talk a lot about being hard to play against," Pittsburgh coach Mike
Sullivan said. "It starts with your own puck possession, the decisions you
make, the line changes, when you change. You put your teammates in good
positions because you change at the right time. The tracking on the puck and
the back pressure on the puck so you have numbers back.
"For me this is the definition of being hard to play against and it's a recipe
for success, regardless of who's in your lineup."
Forwards Nick Bjugstad, Alex Galchenyuk, Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust are all
on Pittsburgh's injured reserve list but the Penguins improved their record to
4-2-0 with their second win on the road this week.
"We've got different guys stepping up and we've got guys coming out of the
lineup," Guentzel said. "So it just kind of happens like that and when you lose
star power like that you've just got to be simple and we're getting better at
Mathieu Perreault and Mark Scheifele had goals for the Jets, and Laurent
Brossoit finished with 21 saves.
Jarry, playing his first game as a starter in three weeks, shook off a lucky
goal from Perreault that gave the Jets a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Perreault's centering pass from behind the net bounced off a defender's stick
"It's obviously something you can't control, it's something that just happens,
part of the game, a weird bounce and you just have to get back and focus on
what you need to do," Jarry said.
Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice thought the turning point was a tripping penalty in
the first period that gave Pittsburgh it's second goal, followed just 41
seconds later by a third.
"We take a penalty we don't like, and then we're down 3-1," he said. "We were
in a fairly tight game. Not a heavy advantage to either team shot wise or
chance wise. That's where I thought it turned for us."
He also believes the Jets' power play needs work after they made good on just
one of six chances.
"Well we're not clicking right," Maurice said. "We don't have the zone time and
we're kind of out of sorts a little bit. When we get to positions that pucks
get knocked down or we're not coming up with it, we're not in a particularly
good place to defend it. We're working on it."
Both teams were playing back-to-back games and lacked zip in the first period
but Jets forward Blake Wheeler didn't blame it on fatigue.
"It was right there," he said of their chance to win the game. "The start was
good. Through the second period, it was good. We get the power-play goal and
we're down by a goal. Puck bounced the wrong way tonight."
The home crowd's celebration after Perreault's goal was short-lived as
Aston-Reese tied it up a few minutes later when, as he was falling to the ice
in front of the Winnipeg net, he slipped a loose rebound past Brossoit at 4:09
for his first goal of the season.
Guentzel scored on a power play at 7:50 of the second to give the Penguins the
lead and then, just 41 seconds later, a puck bounced behind the net and back
out right in front of Lafferty, who slammed it in to make it 3-1.
Scheifele narrowed it by backhanding a rebound past Jarry on a power play at
the 10-minute mark but Simon restored the two-goal lead with 3 1/2 minutes left
as his shot pinballed through traffic before ending up in the Jets' net. It was
also his first of the season.
The Jets seemed to find more steam at the start of the third after coach Paul
Maurice made some line changes but couldn't turn things around, striking out on
their fourth power play.
Instead, Lafferty scored again at 9:32 when his shot glanced off Winnipeg
defenseman Anthony Bittetto's skate. Then Guentzel beat Brossoit for his second
of the game and fourth of the season at with 8:20 left to make it 6-2.
Aston-Reese scored his second of the game short-handed on a breakaway just 7
seconds into a Winnipeg power play with 5:14 remaining.
NOTES: Winnipeg finished with a 29-28 advantage on shots on goal. ... The Jets
had less trouble on their first meeting this season with the Penguins, walking
away from PPG Paints Arena with a 4-1 win last Tuesday. ... Patrik Laine picked
up an assist on Scheifele's goal but he couldn't score despite one great chance
right in front of Jarry that went high.
Penguins: Host Colorado on Wednesday night.
Jets: Host Arizona in the second game of a six-game homestand.
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