Penguins 5 – Blue Jackets 2
Tristan Jarry | 35 Saves
Jake Guentzel | Goal (19), 2 Assists
Riley Sheahan | 2 Goals (8)
Zach Aston-Reese | Goal (4)
Brian Dumoulin | Goal (4)
Jamie Oleksiak | 2 Assists
The Pittsburgh Penguins cruised to a 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets on Sunday night, moving into first place in the Metropolitan Division with 74 pts. The Washington Capitals (73 pts) have three games in hand on Pittsburgh.
The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, continue to sink in the standings.
The Penguins were outshot 37-23 but were in total control of the game from the early minutes of the first period. Pittsburgh stunted the Blue Jackets ability to breakout the puck with a relentless forecheck and jumped out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes with two goals from Riley Sheahan and a goal from Brian Dumoulin.
Zach Aston-Reese then pushed the Penguins lead to 4-1 in the second period, scoring again from the net-front area.
In a 4-2 game in the third, Jake Guentzel iced the game with 5:51 remaining in beating Sergei Bobrovsky with a slap shot down the left side for his 19th goal of the season.
Bobrovsky again struggled mightily against the Penguins, stopping 18 of 23 shots. Pittsburgh scored 4 goals on 12 shots through two periods.
Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel combined for one point and it was Pittsburgh’s support players that starred with a 3 point night from Guentzel, 2 goals from Riley Sheahan and a 35 save performance from Tristan Jarry.
As the Penguins continue to surge, they own the best record in the NHL since January 1, boasting a 16-4-1 record during that span.