Penguins scores 3 in third period to top Jets 4-1
WINNIPEG, Manitoba—James Neal got the go-ahead goal just 22 seconds into the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins scored two more goals in the final 20 minutes to beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 Friday night.
Neal's team-leading 20th goal of the season was followed by goals from Jordan Staal and Pascal Dupuis within the first 5 minutes of the period. Joe Vitale also scored, Chris Kunitz had a pair of assists and Marc-Andre Fleury had to make only 18 saves for Pittsburgh, which won its third straight.
Alexander Burmistrov scored midway through the second period and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 35 shots for the Jets. Winnipeg finished its six-game homestand with a 3-2-1 record.
Jets forward Jim Slater had a great scoring chance early in the first, scooping up a turnover and breaking in alone on Fleury with a shot that clanged off the cross bar.
Vitale put in a rebound at 13:39 of the first to record his second goal of the season.
While the Jets spent a lot of time in the Pittsburgh zone, they couldn't get many shots on net and were outshot 14-5 in the first period.
Burmistrov tied it 1-all on Winnipeg's eighth shot of the game when Blake Wheeler sent a nice pass to him as he streaked through the left circle.
Wheeler now has five goals and 13 assists in his last 17 games.
Evgeni Malkin and Kunitz assisted on Neal's goal, extending both Malkin's and Neal's points' streaks to seven games. Malkin has six goals and 10 assists during that span, including three goals and six assists in his last three games. Neal has six goals and three assists during his streak.
Staal scored his 10th of the season on the power play at 4:14 of the third, followed 40 seconds later by Dupuis' goal.
The Jets head off for a Christmas break and return to action Tuesday in Colorado. Pittsburgh hosts Carolina the same day.
Notes: The Jets are 0-7-0 this season when trailing after the first period. ... The game was the second of four meetings this season between the clubs. Winnipeg won the first game 2-1 on Oct. 17. ... Pittsburgh D Deryk Engelland began serving a three-game suspension for his Tuesday hit on Chicago's Marcus Kruger.