SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)Casey DeSmith made 38 saves and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 on Tuesday night.
”I thought his confidence (was high). You could just see it from the drop of the puck,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. ”I think that’s contagious. I think it rubs off on the group in front of him.”
The Penguins’ top line of Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Rickard Rakell each had three points. Crosby had three assists, giving him 41 this season.
Guentzel scored twice, including an empty-netter. Rakell had the first Pittsburgh goal.
”I think we worked hard. It was nice to get rewarded. It wasn’t always pretty tonight, but it was nice to get the win,” Rakell said.
Timo Meier scored his 31st goal late in the third period for the Sharks. Aaron Dell made 24 saves in his third start for San Jose this season. He has yet to earn a win.
”He played great. He’s an NHL-caliber goaltender,” Sharks captain Logan Couture said. ”There’s a reason he’s played, I don’t know how many games in this league. He’s got the skill to do it.”
Erik Karlsson and Alexander Barabanov both had their four-game point streaks snapped.
Pittsburgh took the lead early, with Rakell jumping on a juicy rebound 5:52 into the first period for his 19th goal of the season.
In the second, Crosby faked out the entire arena by going behind the net and throwing a no-look backhand pass to Guentzel, who had a wide-open net. It was Guentzel’s 22nd goal of the season.
”Just got to be ready when you’re with him. He made a nice play to make everyone fake, and it’s pretty easy for (me),” Guentzel said.
Meier scored on a rush the full length of the ice and beat DeSmith through the legs with 4:03 to go.
”He’s an elite player in this league. And he’s a very difficult guy to contain. He had some chances tonight,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. ”That’s a big-time goal and a power forward goal.”
Guentzel added an empty-net goal to seal it.
Couture skated in his 900th NHL game, all with San Jose.
”I’ll go home tonight and I’ll sit on the couch and think about all the games that I’ve gotten to play here in San Jose. I still vividly remember my first game in Philadelphia, walking into the room,” Couture said. ”And I tell guys, my friends, when they ask what it’s like to play in the NHL, that the lights are 10 times brighter than you think, and the music’s 10 times louder than you think. I cherish every single day I get to play in this league.”
Penguins: At the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Sharks: Visit the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.
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