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game recap

Hagelin scores twice, Penguins defeat Jets

Forward helped by Malkin's return to lineup from injury

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

Hagelin's second goal

WPG@PIT: Hagelin nets his second goal of the game

2/27/16: Carl Hagelin slips a shot backdoor past the stick and left pad of Michael Hutchinson to increase the Penguins' lead to three goals

  • 00:52 •

PITTSBURGH -- Carl Hagelin scored twice, Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves, and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 at Consol Energy Center on Saturday.

After struggling to generate any offense in the first period, Pittsburgh (31-21-8) scored twice in the first 51 seconds of the second to take a 2-0 lead.

The surge began with defenseman Kris Letang's 10th goal of the season 28 seconds into the second. Forward Patric Hornqvist carried the puck into the offensive zone and slid a pass back to Letang with Chris Kunitz occupying Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom, which provided a lane for Letang's slap shot to get through to goalie Michael Hutchinson, who failed to make a save.

Hagelin pushed the Penguins lead to 2-0 23 seconds later by tipping defenseman Ian Cole's slap shot under Hutchinson's glove.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he was impressed by Pittsburgh's line of Evgeni Malkin centering right wing Phil Kessel and Hagelin upon Malkin's return from a lower-body injury that forced him to miss 10 games.

Video: WPG@PIT: Hagelin tips puck in, increases Pens' lead

"I thought overall, the game that that line played was pretty solid," Sullivan said. "They were a threat every time they were on the ice, both off the rush and in the offensive zone. I think that when those three guys play together, obviously their speed is evident."

Penguins forward Conor Sheary exited the game with an upper-body injury, Sullivan said.

Jets defenseman Ben Chiarot had the game's first two shots, 6:01 and 6:19 into the first period. Pittsburgh failed to record a shot until a Letang wrist shot 8:33 into the first.

Despite the lack of offensive efficiency in the period, the Penguins did have two quality scoring chances, starting with Hutchinson's denial of forward Kessel to the right of the net. After defenseman Olli Maatta's slap shot bounced out of Hutchinson's glove through the crease, Kessel collected the rebound and took aim at a seemingly empty net.

Hutchinson moved to his left to make an improbable kick save with 7:13 left in the first.

Video: WPG@PIT: Hutchinson uses the stick to rob Crosby

Malkin had a clear shot on goal after Sidney Crosby set him up on a power play but was denied by a point-blank save with 5:02 left in the first.

Crosby nearly extended the lead to 3-0 when defenseman Trevor Daley fed him in the right circle. With Hutchinson well out of his crease and tangled with Hornqvist, Crosby sent a wrist shot toward the empty net, but Hutchinson contorted his body and lunged back to make one of the more impressive saves this season by extending his stick and deflecting the shot off the left post 9:31 into the second.

"I thought the player was going to shoot it from the slot there and it kind of faked me out," Hutchinson said. "He passed it over and I had saucers when I looked over and saw Crosby there with a wide-open net so I just kind of threw my stick and hoped for the best and I was fortunate that it hit off my stick and didn't go in."

Jets coach Paul Maurice was impressed by Hutchinson, who made 29 saves, but wasn't nearly as pleased with his defense.

"We have to defend better than that, and our goaltender made two or three great saves in that game," Maurice said. "But I think three of those goals, we have to learn to play better defensively."

Video: WPG@PIT: Letang opens the scoring early in 2nd period

Winnipeg (26-31-4) took advantage a few minutes later when Blake Wheeler got a piece of Dustin Byfuglien's slap shot to tip it past Fleury and cut Pittsburgh's lead to 2-1 with 8:48 left in the period.

Penguins forward Scott Wilson extended the lead to 3-1 when he deflected Derrick Pouliot's shot past Hutchinson for his fourth goal in his past five games 5:19 into the third period.

"I think I'm picking my spots," Wilson said. "I think earlier on, when I couldn't grab those goals in the first 12 or 13 games, or whatever it was, I think I was overthinking it. So, I think after that first one, I kind of calmed down a little bit and I think that's helped me a lot."

Hagelin scored his second goal with 9:58 remaining to put the Penguins up 4-1. The goal was Hagelin's third in 17 games with the Penguins and seventh of the season.

Video: WPG@PIT: Hutchinson stops Malkin all alone in front

Malkin's return played a large role in Hagelin's success Saturday.

"I got some good bounces, good passes, and overall I was skating well," Hagelin said. "My linemates were doing a great job finding me … He's obviously one of the best players in the League and he's going to open up a lot of room for me and for [Kessel] out there. When he's on his game, the other team has to pay so much attention to him and that opens everything up."

The Penguins acquired defenseman Justin Schultz from the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday in a trade for a third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. Schultz has three goals and 10 points in 45 games this season.

Video: Hagelin leads Penguins past Jets, 4-1

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