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John Gibson’s 28 saves help Ducks beat Penguins for second consecutive victory

Ducks goalie John Gibson blocks a shot by Penguins wing Patric Hornqvist during the third period Friday night.
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

John Gibson made 28 saves, Brendan Guhle scored the winning goal in the second period, and the Ducks defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Friday night at Honda Center.

Danton Heinen and Ryan Getzlaf also scored for the Ducks, who have won two straight for the first time in more than three weeks. The team was missing its top three defensemen.

“It’s always nice. Maybe not as special as it once was, but it is still the hometown team,” said Gibson, a Pittsburgh native. “Any time you can have a good game against them, it’s always nice when you talk to your family and friends back home.”

Gibson had the play of the night late in the second period when he robbed Bryan Rust of a short-handed breakaway goal with a save off his left pad that would have tied the game 2-2. The Ducks would use that momentum to score less than two minutes later when Guhle’s wrist shot went off Penguins defenseman Zach Trotman with 2:40 remaining to make it 3-1. It was Guhle’s third goal of the season and second in his last six games.

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“That was one of those turning points right there,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “I thought we played with a little snarl, and when we do that, we play well.”

Jason Zucker scored both of Pittsburgh’s goals. The left wing has 19 goals, with five coming in nine games with the Penguins since he was acquired from Minnesota. Marcus Pettersson had two assists.

The Penguins have five straight regulation losses for the first time since the 2011-12 season. They have gone from leading the Metropolitan Division to third place during the skid. Matt Murray stopped 18 shots.

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“Well, we’re not scoring goals. Obviously, it’s hard to win when you don’t put the puck in the net. Having said that, I don’t think it’s been from a lack of opportunities,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “The last couple of games, we’ve had a significant amount of scoring chances, the puck hasn’t gone in the net. I don’t know that there’s a common denominator through the five games.”

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Key plays from the Ducks’ 3-2 victory over the Penguins on Feb. 28, 2020, at Honda Center.

Despite being outshot 12-2 in the first period, the Ducks opened the scoring at 14:14 of the first period when Heinen took a centering pass from Kiefer Sherwood and chipped it past Murray. It was Heinen’s first goal and second point since he was traded from Boston to the Ducks on Monday.

Zucker evened it with a power-play goal 76 seconds into the second when he redirected Pettersson’s shot past Gibson’s stick and blocker.

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Getzlaf and the Ducks regained the lead eight minutes later on the power play when he put home a rebound after Sam Steel’s shot hit the post.

Blake Bolden was hired recently by the Kings as a scout. She is believed to be the the first black female professional scout in the NHL.

Zucker gave Pittsburgh one last chance when he scored with 1:21 remaining after the Penguins brought on the extra skater.

NOTES: Gibson improved to 5-5 against the Penguins. Ducks backup goalie Ryan Miller did not dress because of the flu. Had Gibson been injured during the game, the NHL would have seen its second emergency goalie situation in less than a week. Left wing Sonny Milano, who had an assist on Getzlaf’s goal, has three points (goal, two assists) since being acquired from Columbus on Monday.

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UP NEXT: Pittsburgh travels to play the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. The Ducks host the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.


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