Canucks top Pens, 4-2

Jason Mackey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- In a matchup of teams in serious need of offense, Brock Boeser and the Vancouver Canucks got the best of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

The result was a 4-2 loss for the Penguins that sent them home from a five-game road trip with a measly three points.

Boeser had a hat trick, including the game-winning goal in the third period. All of his goals came during five-on-five play, which matches the Penguins' total in that situation over the previous five games combined.

Two nights ago in Calgary, the Penguins suffered an overtime loss, but there wasn't too much dejection because they were happy with the process.

Play like that enough, coach Mike Sullivan reasoned, and the Penguins would be perfectly fine.

There wasn't a huge deviation from that Saturday, although Sullivan did tinker with his forward lines to try and find some semblance of offense.

He used Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel together for the first time with any regularity when they opened the second period on a line with Jake Guentzel. Sullivan removed Tom Kuhnhackl from Evgeni Malkin's left wing and put Carl Hagelin there.

The Penguins did get a five-on-five goal -- but not from those two lines. The Penguins' fourth line got involved early in the third period, as Greg McKegg redirected a Ryan Reaves point shot to force a 2-2 tie at 4:49.

That lead was short-lived, however, as Boeser completed his hat trick at 5:56. Boeser got a good look from the slot and beat Matt Murray's glove side. Bo Horvat picked up the Canucks' fourth goal at 16:29 of the third.

The Penguins entered the game with a total of six five-on-five goals over the previous seven games. Their only other source of offense in this one was the power play, which scored for the ninth time in 11 road games.


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