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game recap

Phil Kessel helps Penguins defeat Ducks

Pittsburgh wins second straight to start season without Sidney Crosby

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

PITTSBURGH - Phil Kessel scored midway through the second period to help the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.

With the Penguins up 2-1, Kessel scored on a power play 7:58 into the second. Following a tripping penalty on Ryan Getzlaf, Kessel shot through goalie Jonathan Bernier's five-hole for his first goal of the season.

Bernier made 42 saves in his Ducks debut, and Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury earned his second win with 33 saves.

Pittsburgh has won the first two games of a three-game homestand to begin the season.

"I thought we got stronger as the game went on," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I think, over time here, we've gotten a better understanding of how to play in one-goal games."

Video: ANA@PIT: Cole's wrist shot finds the net in 1st

Anaheim has lost the first two games of a five-game road trip.

"Tonight we chased the game for the better part of it," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We had a pretty good game going until about the 13-minute mark and they seemed to get back in it with their speed. … Our execution level has got to go up."

Ducks forward Corey Perry made it 3-2, scoring off a faceoff with 9:33 left in the second. Fleury stopped Perry's initial shot with a glove save but allowed a rebound that Perry collected and sent over him into the net.

Penguins defenseman Ian Cole made it 1-0 with 8:14 remaining in the first period. Forward Evgeni Malkin circled behind the net and passed to the blue line, where defenseman Trevor Daley moved the puck on to Cole. Cole, who has 11 goals in 259 NHL games, sent a wrist shot through traffic to score his first goal since Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the San Jose Sharks.

The lead didn't last long after defenseman Olli Maatta and Cole were sent to the penalty box four seconds apart. With 39 seconds of the two-man advantage remaining, Getzlaf set up a one-timer from defenseman Cam Fowler that he sent through a screen from Ryan Kesler to tie it 1-1 with 5:47 left in the first.

Forward Conor Sheary scored 2:03 into the second period to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead.

Goal of the game

After Getzlaf was called for tripping, Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist possessed the puck along the near wall with defenseman Josh Manson on top of him before Kessel dug the puck out of the corner and carried it to the middle of the ice alone. Kessel then sent a wrist shot through Bernier's five-hole to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead.

Video: ANA@PIT: Kessel snaps one five-hole for PPG


Save of the game

Bernier kept the Ducks deficit at one goal by robbing Hornqvist 37 seconds into the third period. Penguins forward Scott Wilson tipped a shot on Bernier that sent him sliding out of the net to his right with Hornqvist pouncing on the rebound. Bernier kicked back to his left and made a glove save to stop Hornqvist's with Anaheim trailing 3-2.

Video: ANA@PIT: Bernier robs Hornqvist with huge glove stop


Highlight of the game

With Bernier holding the puck behind his net, Fowler skated through and inadvertently knocked it off his stick. Conor Sheary moved it to Penguins forward Matt Cullen, who shuffled a pass to the net-front with forward Chris Kunitz charging toward the crease. After Kunitz caused a scrum, Sheary found the puck up against the right post and tipped it past the goal line, giving Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead 2:03 into the second period.

Video: ANA@PIT: Sheary pokes in goal after Ducks' miscue

Unsung moment of the game

The Ducks went on a power play with a chance to tie the game late in the second period after Cole was called for interference with 2:13 remaining. Anaheim registered one shot, but came close to scoring when Fowler shot off Trevor Daley, but it went wide of the net. Pittsburgh killed the penalty to preserve a 3-2 lead entering the third period.


They said it

"They threw a lot of pucks at the net from anywhere. They had guys around the net trying to screen and tip. It worked out all right at the end." -- Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on the third period


"Last year, I thought I'd save it for a good time. -- Penguins defenseman Ian Cole, who didn't score a goal in 70 games last season, on his goal


"We haven't talked about last year at all. This is a new beginning, a new season, and you have to go out and prove yourself all over again." -- Ducks forward Corey Perry, on losing their first two games after starting last season 1-7-2


Need to know

Kunitz became the 18th player to play 500 games with the Penguins. He has scored 359 points and 160 goals with Pittsburgh. … Ducks defenseman Simon Despres did not play because of an upper-body injury. Carlyle said Despres continued to be evaluated by doctors Saturday morning.


What's next

Ducks: At the New York Islanders on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; MSG+, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Penguins: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Monday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, ROOT, ALT, NHL.TV)


Video: Penguins' offense comes out firing in 3-2 victory

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