PITTSBURGH (AP) — Justin Schultz took a pass from Phil Kessel and buried it in the wide-open net 2:36 into overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
Tristan Jarry made several key stops for the Penguins early in the extra period, and Schultz’s fourth goal of the season helped Pittsburgh improve to 10-1 in overtime at home this season.
Evgeni Malkin scored his 37th goal for the Penguins and added an assist. Kris Letang and Chad Ruhwedel also scored for Pittsburgh. Jarry finished with 35 saves as the Penguins pulled within one point of Washington for first in the crowded Metropolitan Division.
Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund and Troy Brouwer scored for the Flames, who outplayed the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions for long stretches before dropping their fourth straight. Jon Gillies stopped 28 shots but had no chance when Kessel slid a cross-ice pass to a wide-open Schultz.
The Penguins had dropped five straight to the Flames, including a 2-1 overtime loss in Calgary in November. They Penguins have turned it around in the interim and wasted little time sprinting to a 2-0 lead. Ruhwedel collected his first goal since Dec. 18 on a knuckler from the point 2:10 into the game, and Malkin doubled Pittsburgh’s advantage 55 seconds later when teammate Bryan Rust forced a turnover by Gillies behind the Calgary net. Malkin collected the puck and flipped it across the goal line before Gillies could scramble back into position.
The Flames, in the middle of their own fight to stay in the Western Conference playoff mix, responded immediately.
Giordano took advantage of extended zone time by sending a puck through traffic by Jarry 6:14 into the first, and Backlund’s 13th of the season came at the end of a gorgeous sequence in which he deked Penguins star defenseman Kris Letang and walked to the net before flipping a backhand by the sprawled Jarry.
Letang atoned eventually with a wrist shot off the rush from the right circle that ripped over Gillies’ right shoulder with 2:59 left in regulation. Calgary responded again, with T.J. Brodie slipping a pass between Ruhwedel’s legs to Brouwer’s awaiting stick. Brouwer had no trouble sending it by Jarry to tie it with 2 seconds left in the period.
NOTES: Penguins G Matt Murray skated on Monday morning but remains out indefinitely while dealing with a concussion sustained last week. … Several Penguins used rainbow-colored Pride tape on their sticks during warmups. The sticks will be auctioned by the team’s foundations, with the proceeds going to the “You Can Play” organization, which promotes inclusion in all sports for LGBTQ athletes. … Calgary scratched Fs Tanner Glass, Chris Stewart and Nick Short as well as D Matt Bartkowski. … The Penguins scratched D Matt Hunwick, Fs Carter Rowney and Zach Aston-Reese and Murray. … Both teams were 0 for 2 on the power play. … Pittsburgh is 13-1 in its last 14 games at PPG Paints Arena.
Flames: Continue their three-game trip in Buffalo on Wednesday.
Penguins: Visit Philadelphia on Wednesday. Pittsburgh leads the season series 2-0 over its Metropolitan Division rival.
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