Pittsburgh, PA – Evgeni Malkin had a goal and four assists, 5, on Saturday.
Winnipeg had won two straight, including Thursday's comeback victory over the Capitals, but was downed by a relentless Pittsburgh attack. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 31-of-39 shots in the loss, while Tim Stapleton, Dustin Byfuglien and Bryan Little all finished with a goal and an assist.
The Jets carried the momentum from Thursday's comeback, which saw them score two late goals before winning in a shootout, into Saturday. They were ahead 2-0 before the midway point of the first on tallies by Kyle Wellwood and Alexander Burmistrov. But the Penguins battled back, tying the game before the first intermission behind goals from Dustin Jeffrey and James Neal.
They continued to surge in the second, as Kunitz drove home a snap shot just 3:12 in and Letang's backhander made it a 4-2 game near the midway point. Stapleton responded minutes later, burying a centering pass from Blake Wheeler, who had fallen down behind the net. But Malkin re-established a two- goal advantage with a wrister towards the end of the period.
Byfuglien scored 4:35 into the third, wristing one home from the right circle, but Richard Park negated the tally 19 seconds later with a tip-in goal, making it 6-4.
Staal, who had missed 15 straight games due to a balky knee, pushed the advantage to three with a wrister at the 7:48 mark and Letang answered Little's goal at the midway point with a tally in the closing minutes to seal the comfortable win.
This was the third of four meetings between the teams this season. The Penguins have won two of three thus far...Staal has six goals in his last 10 outings against Winnipeg...Fleury improved to 12-2 in his last 14 starts against the Winnipeg franchise...Pavelec is 1-9 lifetime against the Penguins.