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game recap

Murray wins eighth straight start, Penguins top Panthers

Makes 36 saves; Pittsburgh scores twice shorthanded

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

Murray's amazing pad save

FLA@PIT: Murray lifts his left pad to rob McCann

Jared McCann goes to the backhand on a shothanded chance, but Matt Murray raises his left pad to make an amazing kick save in the 2nd period

  • 00:18 •

PITTSBURGH -- Matt Murray made 36 saves in his eighth straight win for the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-1 against the Florida Panthers at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.

Murray is the fourth goalie in Penguins history to have a personal winning streak of at least eight games, and is the first to win eight straight since Marc-Andre Fleury won nine in a row from Feb. 21-March 17, 2012. Murray has allowed two goals or fewer in seven of eight starts since returning from a lower-body injury.

"It felt like a bit of a crazy one," Murray said. "A lot of chances both ways, it felt like. I'm just glad we got the two points. It's our last home game for a while so it's a nice way to start off this road trip. ... If you get a little better each and every day I think it compounds. That's how you're going to improve. That's what I try to focus on."

 

[WATCH: All Panthers vs. Penguins highlights]

 

Bryan Rust scored twice, including once shorthanded, for the Penguins (24-13-6), who are 9-1-0 in their past 10 games. Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, and Tanner Pearson and Riley Sheahan also scored for Pittsburgh.

Roberto Luongo allowed four goals on 16 shots for the Panthers (17-17-7) before being pulled at 8:56 of the second period. James Reimer made 14 saves in relief.

Video: FLA@PIT: Rust, Sheahan score two SHGs in 2nd

Florida, which has lost three straight (0-2-1), was 0-for-4 on the power play and allowed two shorthanded goals.

"Give their goalie credit. He played really well, ours didn't," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. "Those guys, they've been good all year on the power play. Tonight, when we needed them the most, we're in a playoff push, you have two or three guys that are just out to lunch."

Pearson put the Penguins ahead 1-0 at 1:29 of the first period on a wrist shot from the right face-off circle before Rust made it 2-0 on Pittsburgh's third shot of the game, at 3:03. Jake Guentzel chipped the puck to himself through Aaron Ekblad's legs at the blue line before passing to Rust, who scored on his backhand.

Rust's shorthanded goal off a wrist shot made it 3-0 at 3:04 of the second period. It was his 11th goal of the season.

Sheahan extended the lead to 4-0 with a shorthanded goal at 8:56.

Video: FLA@PIT: Crosby tips in 20th goal to tie Lemieux

Aleksander Barkov cut it to 4-1 on a slap shot at 19:16 before Crosby scored 4-on-4, making it 5-1 at 13:41 of the third. Crosby reached 20 goals in a season for the 12th time, which tied Mario Lemieux for the most 20-goal seasons in Penguins history.

"We definitely want to tighten up," Crosby said. "We had a lot of chances ourselves. We capitalized on some, but we also had some other good ones that didn't go in, so it was one of those games where as long as we look at it like that and make sure we tighten up, we'll be able to learn from it."

 

They said it

"Obviously we try to prepare as best as we possibly can. It's on us as the leadership group to get the room ready, have the room prepared to play each night. We haven't done that. It's been guys, including myself, in the leadership group that haven't got the job done early in games." -- Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad

Video: FLA@PIT: Barkov tips point shot home late in 2nd

 

"It certainly isn't the type of game that we want to play. I thought, early in the game, we turned the puck over a lot. There were glorious scoring chances on both sides. We were opportunistic on ours and I thought [Murray] made some big saves for us. I know we're capable of playing a much tighter game. I think that's what we want to try to do moving forward." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

 

Need to know

Boughner benched Keith Yandle, Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Hoffman for the third period. "They weren't ready to play. They didn't execute. Cost us a couple goals, didn't work hard enough. All the above," Boughner said. … Barkov has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his past 11 games. ... The Panthers have allowed the first goal in nine of their past 10 games, including each of the past seven. They have trailed 2-0 in the first period in four of their past six games. ... Defenseman Kris Letang passed Rick Kehoe to move into sixth place on Pittsburgh's all-time games played list (723). Letang's seven-game point streak ended. ... Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist left after taking a puck to his face midway through the first period. … Forward Zach Aston-Reese left in the third period after playing 8:00. Sullivan did not provide an update on either Hornqvist or Aston-Reese but said his sense is Aston-Reese could be out for "a little while." … Crosby has 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in his past eight games.

 

What's next

Panthers: At the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the Anaheim Ducks on Friday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN360, SNE, SNO, SNP, PRIME, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Video: Rust scores twice for Penguins in 5-1 victory

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