PITTSBURGH (AP) — Tristan Jarry made 46 saves in his return from a lower-body injury to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins past the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Friday night.
Jake Guentzel scored twice for the Penguins to reach 20 goals for the sixth straight season. Rickard Rakell added his 17th and Jason Zucker his 13th as Pittsburgh earned a split of its home-and-home series with Ottawa.
Brady Tkachuk had his 16th goal for the Senators and Cam Talbott stopped 40 shots while losing for the fifth time in his last six starts.
The injury-plagued Penguins have been treading water of late. The extended absences of Jarry and defensemen Jeff Petry and Kris Letang haven’t helped.
Pittsburgh is slowly getting healthier. Jarry looked sharp after missing seven games with a lower-body injury sustained against Boston in the Winter Classic at Fenway Park on Jan. 2. The Senators kept Jarry busy at times, but he held his ground to pick up his first victory since Dec. 20.
Petry returned after sitting out 16 games with an upper body injury and earned his first point since Dec. 9 when his slap shot from the point was deflected by Guentzel right to Rakell’s stick. Rakell jammed the loose puck by Talbott to put the Penguins up 11:14 into the first period.
Zucker, playing arguably his best hockey since the Penguins acquired him from Minnesota in February 2020, pushed Pittsburgh’s advantage to 2-0 a short time later when he darted behind the Ottawa net to track down a loose puck and beat an unsuspecting Talbott to the far post to give him four goals in Pittsburgh’s last five games.
Jarry fended off an Ottawa surge in the second and Guentzel gave the Penguins a comfortable three-goal lead when he took a lead pass from Bryan Rust and ripped a wrist shot by Talbott from the right circle with 2:48 to go in the second.
Tkachuk gave the Senators a bit of life when he banked a shot off Sidney Crosby in the goal crease with 1:05 remaining in the second.
Guentzel restored the three-goal lead 6:13 into the third when his cross-ice pass intended for a streaking Crosby deflected off the stick of Senators defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker and by Talbott and the Penguins were on their way to their 11th straight home win against Ottawa.
NOTES: While the game wasn’t a replay of Wednesday night — which saw a combined 14 power-play opportunities and six combined power-play goals — the box was still busy. There were two fights and brothers P.O. Joseph (Pittsburgh defenseman) and Mathieu Joesph (Ottawa forward) were both called for high-sticking in the third period. … Letang wore a non-contact jersey while participating in Pittsburgh’s morning skate and could be nearing a return. The 17-year veteran has been out since late-December with a lower-body injury.
Senators: Begin a two-game homestand on Saturday against Winnipeg.
Penguins: Travel to New Jersey on Sunday.