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Jarry continues to shine

The Penguins goalie posted his third shutout in four games on Thursday

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

After Tristan Jarry's franchise-record shutout streak ended at 177:15 minutes in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to Montreal, he acknowledged the impressive feat, then said matter-of-factly:

"We'll try again."

The Penguins netminder got right back on track in Thursday's 1-0 overtime win over Columbus, earning his third shutout in four games. Jarry became the second goaltender in Penguins history to register three shutouts in four appearances, behind Marc-Andre Fleury (Oct. 25-Nov. 1, 2014).

Jarry's goals-against average (1.76) and save percentage (.941) rank No. 1 in the entire NHL, while his three shutouts are tied for first. Jarry has now surrendered two or fewer goals in 10 of his 13 appearances this season.

"It's fun," Jarry said, again matter-of-factly, following the victory. "It's fun to play a lot and it's fun to win."

The Penguins limited the amount of shots Jarry faced, with Columbus getting just 17 through. Jarry praised the effort of his teammates to play as stingy as they did, something that Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said has been a point of emphasis since training camp.

"The guys did a great job tonight," Jarry said. "They limited the shots and gave me the easy ones from the outside. So it was a great job. We didn't have any rebounds and we were able to get a lot of pucks out."

That being said, a handful of those shots were quality chances. Jarry had to come up with some big stops early in the third to keep the game scoreless, particularly when Pierre-Luc Dubois and Oliver Bjorkstrad both got behind the defense and went in alone on the Penguins netminder.

"It's about just staying focused," Jarry said. "Making sure I'm staying in front of it, making sure I'm following the puck and making sure that I'm sharp when I need to be."

"That's an important aspect of being a goaltender," Sullivan said. "It's hard to win in this league if you don't get that timely save and Tristan has done that for us."

It was a big test for Jarry in terms of his mental toughness, and for his teammates as well with Evgeni Malkin missing tonight's game due to illness - making this the first game that Pittsburgh has been without both him and Sidney Crosby since April 9, 2017.

The Penguins knew offense might be a little harder to come by, especially with Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo turning in a tremendous performance of his own down at the other end. 

And at times, it felt like Jarry was ready to take matters into his own hands in that regard with his tremendous puck-handling ability, which he said he honed playing out instead of in goal in street hockey growing up.

"Not only did he make some huge stops for us, he was phenomenal playing the puck," Jack Johnson said. "That stood out as well, too. He made some big plays for us, he made some good breakouts. He was huge in overtime, he cleared that puck down. When you've got a long change and you're on the power play, those killers can't get off the ice. He really puts the other team in a jam there when he can play the puck like that."

Bryan Rust was eventually able to break through for the overtime winner on a 4-on-3 man-advantage to give the Penguins a huge character win over a Metro Division rival.

"It's huge. It's huge that we have a lot of guys stepping up," Jarry said. "Every night it's someone new. ... Everyone is working hard every night."

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