Penguins edge Jets in shootout to extend streak

Winnipeg, MB ( - Sidney Crosby extended Pittsburgh's unbeaten run with a shootout goal that provided the difference in the Penguins' 4-3 decision over the Winnipeg Jets.

After both he and fellow star Evgeni Malkin were held off the scoresheet, both scored in the deciding phase to lift the Penguins to a sixth consecutive victory.

Marc-Andre Fleury, fresh off signing a four-year, $23 million extension, stopped 34 shots before turning aside Evander Kane in the final shootout round to give Pittsburgh the two points.

"When it comes down to a skills competition, shootouts, against guys like Crosby, and Malkin, that's not a situation you want to put yourself in," Jets forward Blake Wheeler said.

Brandon Sutter had a goal and two assists in regulation for the Penguins, with Steve Downie scoring once and assisting on Simon Despres' tally in the win.

"I think both teams had their opportunities to win the game at different points," Crosby said. "First period they carried the play, second we did, third and overtime was probably anybody's game. It was a pretty good hockey game, all in all."

The Jets rallied from a 3-1 deficit late in the second period to force overtime on goals by Jacob Trouba and Kane, but ultimately had a three-game winning streak halted. Winnipeg still managed a point for a seventh consecutive outing, having gone 5-0-2 over that stretch.

Andrew Ladd also scored and Wheeler delivered two assists for the Jets, who received a 32-save effort from Ondrej Pavelec.

Malkin failed to register a point for the first time in 12 games this season and Crosby was held in check throughout regulation and overtime. Each rose to the occasion with the game on the line, however.

Malkin answered Wheeler's successful try to open the shootout with a rocket past Pavelec, and Crosby faked a backhand before sneaking his attempt under Pavelec's right pad after Fleury turned aside Ladd.

Kane then couldn't keep the shootout going, as Fleury came up with a poke- check with his stick to seal the outcome.

Pittsburgh appeared on its way to prevailing in regulation before the Jets came to life late in the second period. Trouba created the spark by finishing a counterattack with a hard blast over Fleury's shoulder to bring Winnipeg within 3-2 in the 19th minute of the stanza.

A blocked shot in the Jets' zone led to a 2-on-1 breakaway between Wheeler and Kane early in the third, with the latter finishing the opportunity with his first goal of the season to even the score.

Both teams couldn't convert power-play chances late in regulation, and the Jets had a 4-on-3 with just over a minute to go in overtime that was killed off by Pittsburgh.

The Jets tested Fleury early with a 15-shot opening period and grabbed a 1-0 lead midway through the frame on Ladd's redirection of a puck thrown to the net by Bryan Little. The goal ended a shutout streak of Fleury that lasted over 164 minutes.

Despres drew the Penguins even less than two minutes later with a quick wrister from near the blueline that beat Pavelec to the glove side.

Pittsburgh then temporarily took control with a pair of second-period scores, with Sutter netting the first 6:50 into the stanza on a partial breakaway created by a crisp neutral-zone pass from Robert Bortuzzo.

Downie made it a 3-1 advantage by racing out of the penalty box to beat the Jets' Dustin Byfuglien to a puck flung down the ice by Nick Spaling, then getting Pavelec out of position with a successful backhand 2:56 prior to the second intermission.

Game Notes

Fleury's scoreless streak lasted 164:22, just off Tomas Vokoun's franchise record of 173:06 set during the 2012-13 season ... Despres had gone 70 games since his last NHL goal, which came at the New York Islanders on Feb. 15, 2013 ... The Jets' seven straight games with at least a point ties the franchise's longest run since moving from Atlanta prior to the 2011-12 season ... Winnipeg killed all five Penguins' power plays and is 17-for-17 in those situations over its last five games.