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Penguins win third straight, defeat Panthers on late Sheary goal

Forward breaks tie with 2:53 remaining in third period

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Conor Sheary scored with 2:53 left in the third period -- the Pittsburgh Penguins' third power-play goal -- in a 4-3 victory against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Friday.

"Our power play when it's going can be really dangerous," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "There's a lot of real good players on it. They see it so well. What I like that they've been doing is they're working. They're not stationary. They're doing all the little things that you can't necessarily quantify in a statistic, but it just helps power plays be effective. As long as they stay in that mindset, they can be a dangerous group."

 

[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Panthers highlights]

 

Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby also scored power-play goals, and Carter Rowney scored for Pittsburgh (5-2-1). Phil Kessel had two assists, and Matt Murray made 28 saves.

The Penguins were 3-for-4 on the power play, the second time this season they scored three power-play goals. They also did so in a 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 11.

Defenseman MacKenzie Weegar scored his first NHL goal, and Jamie McGinn and Aleksander Barkov scored for the Panthers (2-4-0), who have lost three in a row.

Video: PIT@FLA: Sheary rushes in and tallies late PPG

Roberto Luongo made 33 saves before leaving 4:46 into the third period after an injury to his right thumb when he collided with Sheary. Luongo came up short in his second attempt to move into sole possession of fourth place on the NHL wins list. Luongo is tied with Curtis Joseph at 454.

Coach Bob Boughner had no update on Luongo's status after the game.

"It's obviously a tough break," Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle said. "It's tough to see when you see one of your teammates, one of your leaders, a guy like (Luongo gets injured). It's obviously tough to swallow."

With Radim Vrbata off for tripping, Sheary scored when he came in alone on Luongo's replacement, James Reimer, after taking a pass from Olli Maatta in the neutral zone. Sheary made a quick move to his backhand before flipping the puck past Reimer.

"We talked about that before the game, to use the weak side of the ice for the break-in, and I was just flying with a lot of speed and had a breakaway opportunity," Sheary said. "I felt pretty good with the two days off and a good time to recover. I just tried to work hard and use my speed and eventually got a goal there."

Weegar tied it at 3-3 at 9:19 of the third period on a slap shot with traffic in front of Murray.

Video: PIT@FLA: Weegar knots up game with first career goal

Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 in the second period but scored three goals to take a 3-2 lead.

Malkin scored at 2:14 when he redirected Kessel's shot along the ice from the top of the left circle, and Rowney scored 27 seconds later after a turnover behind the Florida net.

Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead at 11:12 with his fourth goal in three games.

The Panthers scored twice in 1:34 in the first period.

McGinn made it 1-0 at 4:15 when he put home a rebound after Vrbata floated a shot on net from outside the blue line. It was the first time in six games this season the Panthers scored first.

Barkov made it 2-0 at 5:49 with a wrist shot from a sharp angle that beat Murray over the left shoulder.

Video: PIT@FLA: Malkin taps in Kessel's pass for a PPG

 

Goal of the game

Malkin had two one-timers stopped on the Penguins' second power play before he found himself with the puck to the left of Luongo. This time, he made a pass to the front of the net that Crosby redirected over the goalie's left shoulder.

Video: PIT@FLA: Crosby scores power-play goal on redirection

 

Save of the game

With Reimer off for an extra attacker, Florida had three shots in the final 34 seconds. The best scoring chance came with seven seconds left when Barkov got a rebound to the side of the net and quickly pulled the puck to his forehand to shoot. Murray moved to the left in time to stop Barkov's shot.

Video: PIT@FLA: Murray denies Barkov in closing seconds

 

Highlight of the game

Malkin flipped the puck from the Pittsburgh zone in the first period and Kessel beat everyone to it inside the Florida blue line for a breakaway. He fired a quick shot that Luongo stopped with his left leg at 16:03.

 

They said it

"It wasn't pretty. They were throwing a lot of pucks to the net and when you get down 2-0, it's not the situation to put yourself in, but we had a lot of time left. We got back to our game pretty quickly and finished up the second half of the first pretty good. That built some confidence." -- Penguins forward Sidney Crosby

 

"It went sideways when we started taking penalties. We know they have one of the best power plays. Our [penalty kill] is struggling right now. It just seems that everything that's coming at us is finding its way in the back of the net. Five-on-5, both teams had their pushes. I thought their power play and our lack of killing was the difference." -- Panthers coach Bob Boughner

 

Need to know

Pittsburgh set season highs for shots in a period (22 in the second) and game (48). … Pittsburgh is 9-0-2 in its past 11 games against Florida, including a five-game winning streak that matches its longest in the series. … Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad played a game-high 26:19.

 

What's next

Penguins: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Panthers: At the Washington Capitals on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Sheary scores late to lift Pens past Panthers, 4-3

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