DeSmith has 52 saves, Guentzel has 3 points, Penguins are the best bruins

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Casey DeSmith made a career-high 52 saves and Jake Guentzel scored three goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Boston Bruins 4-0 Thursday night.

Guentzel completed the hat-trick with an empty net, his 40th goal of the season, as Pittsburgh moved two points ahead of Washington for third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins, Bruins and Capitals have already secured playoff spots but are fighting for Eastern Conference placement. Pittsburgh and Boston are each tied with 99 points.

Jason Zucker also scored for the Penguins, who have won three of five after a four-game losing streak. The Penguins lost 2-1 in Boston on Saturday.

Jeremy Swayman made 28 saves for the Bruins, whose winning streak ended in two games. Boston has lost five out of eight overall.

DeSmith’s shutout was his third of the season and ninth overall. With Tristan Jarry battling a lower body injury week in and week out, DeSmith will likely remain Pittsburgh’s starting goaltender in the playoffs.

Güntzel opened the gate to 7:49 of the first period. He fired a wrist shot between Swayman’s pads from the onslaught’s slot.

Boston beat Pittsburgh 10-0 in the first six minutes of the second period, but the Penguins extended their lead with their first shot. Jeff Carter made a one-touch redirect pass through the neutral zone to Spring Zucker, who hit Swayman with a wrist shot to the glove side. It was his fourth goal in eight games.

Güntzel made it a 3-0 game late in the second. After a freebie from the Bruins in their own zone, Kris Letang sent a cross-ice pass to Guentzel, who knocked up an outstretched swayman.


DeSmith made his second straight start and fourth in five games with Jarry sidelined.

His previous career best was 48 saves from 51 shots in a December 2018 home win against Boston.

DeSmith was sharp in the early parts of the second period as the Bruins swarmed and Pittsburgh held on to a 1-0 lead. He was equally impressive in the third with the Penguins by three goals. The Bruins had a 15-6 lead on shots and two power plays in the first 10 minutes of the third.


Guentzel reached the 40-goal mark for the second time in his career.

He became the eighth player in franchise history to score 40 or more goals across multiple seasons with the team. Since the turn of the century, only Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have accomplished this feat.

Guentzel has 81 points, surpassing 80 for the first time in his career. Only Crosby, Malkin and Phil Kessel have reached 80 points with Pittsburgh since 2005-06.


Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said several injured players could be close to a return.

Goaltender Linus Ullmark (undisclosed) could play in one of the Bruins’ two weekend games, Cassidy said, adding that if forward David Pastrnak (upper body) and defender Hampus Lindholm (lower body) aren’t in Sunday’s lineup, they are could be back tuesday.

Pastrnak leads the Bruins with 38 goals. Lindholm, a top-four defenseman, was acquired in a trade with Anaheim in March, and Ullmark has 23 wins. Pastrnak missed his eighth game in a row, while Lindholm missed his sixth and Ullmark his third.

Boston has scored two goals or fewer on average in each of their last seven games and has not scored on the power play in nine games, a 0-to-29 stretch.


Bruins: hosts the New York Rangers on Saturday.

Penguins: Saturday in Detroit.

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.) DeSmith has 52 saves, Guentzel has 3 points, Penguins are the best bruins


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