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Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evan Rodrigues (9) celebrates his goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. The Penguins won 5-3. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby and Evan Rodrigues scored 12 seconds apart in the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied for a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
Bryan Rust scored twice and Brock McGinn also had a goal to help the Penguins win their ninth straight — their longest since a winning 15 in a row in March 2013. It is the longest active streak in the league, tying Carolina for the longest of the season. Pittsburgh is 14-2-1 in its last 17 games.
Crosby scored his fifth, Rodrigues his 14th and McGinn his ninth, as Pittsburgh scored three in the third to erase a 3-2 deficit.
Casey DeSmith stopped 13 shots, but was pulled after the Blues’ third goal. He’s allowed three goals or more in 11 of his last 14 games dating back to last season. Tristan Jarry, who recently came off the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, stopped all 13 shots in relief.
Brayden Schenn returned from injury to score his fifth of the season and 200th career goal. Jordan Kyrou stayed hot with his 13th of the season, and Colton Parayko scored his fourth. Vladimir Tarasenko had two assists to extend his point streak to six games. Jordan Binnington stopped 36 shots for the Blues, who saw a two-game win streak end with their third loss in 10 games.
Crosby scored with 7:37 left in the third to tie it 3-3. Crosby, with Niko Mikkola draped on his back, cut across the crease and knocked a rebound past Binnington. Blues coach Craig Berube challenged for goaltender interference, but Crosby’s goal stood. Earlier in the game, Mikkola punched Crosby and the visor cut the bridge of Crosby’s nose, which required stitches.
Rodrigues gave Pittsburgh the lead 12 seconds later on a slap shot from the left faceoff dot. McGinn capped the scoring with 1:39 remaining.
Schenn opened the scoring 20 seconds into the second period with a power-play goal, as Pittsburgh trailed for the first time since a loss at Edmonton on Dec. 1.
Kyrou scored the Blues’ second goal at 8:45, but Rust responded with a highlight-reel power-play goal with 6 1/2 minutes left in the middle period. He knocked a rebound out of the air over Binnington’s shoulder to put Pittsburgh on the board.
Parayko answered 19 seconds later for the Blues, ending DeSmith’s night and making it 3-1 with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.
Rust cut it to 3-2 when he beat Binnington with a wrist shot off the rush with 4:14 remaining in the second.
With Schenn’s return to the lineup, the Blues were their healthiest since late November. Robert Bortuzzo is the lone forward currently unavailable because of the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols.
Schenn last played Dec. 12 against Anaheim, as he missed five games with an upper-body injury. He skated on the left wing alongside Ivan Barbashev and Pavel Buchnevich and played 15:25 with a goal and an assist.
STATS AND STREAKS
Rust, who recorded a hat trick and five points against San Jose on Sunday, has five goals in his last two games. He has six goals and 13 points in his last seven games played. Rodrigues, who also had a hat trick against San Jose, has six goals and 11 points in his last eight games.
Jake Guentzel, who had two assists, has points in each of his last 15 games with 14 goals and 23 points during that span. Crosby has four goals and 19 points in his last 12 games played.
Tarasenko has six goals and 12 points during his six-game point streak. He has six multi-point efforts in his last 10 games with 16 points during that span.
Kyrou, who set a Winter Classic record with two goals and four points, has four goals and eight points in his last three games.
PENGUIN ROSTER UPDATES
Teddy Blueger and Kasperi Kapanen played for the first time since being removed from the league COVID-19 protocols list.
Jeff Carter skated with the team for the first time on Wednesday since he was removed from the COVID-19 protocols, but he did not play. Evgeni Malkin continues to work towards a return from offseason knee surgery, but he missed his 32nd consecutive game.
Blues: Host Washington on Friday to open a five-game homestand.
Penguins: At Philadelphia on Thursday to begin a six-game trip.
MAPLE LEAFS 4, OILERS 2
TORONTO — Ilya Mikheyev scored the tiebreaking goal on power play in the third period, and Toronto handed Edmonton its 11th loss in 13 games.
John Tavares and T.J. Brodie also scored for the Maple Leafs, Alexander Kerfoot had a goal and an assist, and William Nylander had two assists. Toronto improved to 20-4-1 in its last 25 games. Jack Campbell stopped 28 shots.
Leon Draisaitl and Brendan Perlini scored for Edmonton, and Mike Smith had 29 saves. The slumping Oilers finished a winless road trip 0-3-2 to fall to 2-9-2 since a 16-5-0 start.
Edmonton was missing captain Connor McDavid, fellow center Derek Ryan and defenseman Tyson Barrie after all three were added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols. The Oilers were also without top-six forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (undisclosed), who has been placed on injured reserve.
The Maple Leafs had Auston Matthews following a COVID-19 scare that kept him out of practice Monday and Tuesday.
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