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Penguins beat Panthers despite key absences

Brenden Morrow recorded two goals and one assist, backing 25 saves from Marc-Andre Fleury, as Pittsburgh beat Florida, 3-1, on Saturday.

Kris Letang also tallied, while Beau Bennett posted two helpers for the Penguins, who won their fourth straight game despite the absences of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.

"When you're in here, you see how confident the group is," Morrow said. "(Even with) a couple world-class players not in the lineup, the group in here still has a belief that what they're going to do, how they're going to work, how they prepare, is going to have success."

Scottie Upshall scored and Jacob Markstrom stopped only 19 shots for the Panthers, losers in three of their last four.

"Even without their two superstars out of the lineup they're still dangerous," said Upshall. "I thought we still gave them a good game and battled hard. It was a close game tonight."

Letang's left-point blast zipped past Markstrom high and to the near side with 5:11 left in the first period, and Morrow's wrister off a Bennett dish made it 2-0 with 1:33 remaining.

Upshall's poke at a loose puck in the crease which resulted from a Jack Skille shot halved Florida's deficit at 4:10 of the second, but the hosts couldn't generate any further offense.

Florida failed to solve Fleury on a pair of third-period power plays, then found itself in a deep hole late when defenseman Erik Gudbranson was whistled for boarding with 1:48 remaining.

Morrow provided the insurance tally into the empty net with 21 seconds to play. For the 34-year-old, it was his first multi-goal effort since being acquired by Pittsburgh and his first since Feb. 13 at Calgary when he played for Dallas.

Game Notes

The score was Letang's first since Feb. 3 ... Pittsburgh has won 19 of its last 21 games ... Malkin was a late scratch due to an upper-body injury ... The Penguins won two of three in the season series, and have beaten the Panthers in nine of the last 11 meetings overall.