Kapanen’s hat trick gives the Penguins a 6-2 win over the Blues

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kasperi Kapanen scored his second career hat-trick and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the St. Louis Blues 6-2 on Saturday night.

Bryan Rust had a goal and three assists, Jason Zucker had a goal and two assists, Sidney Crosby also scored and Evgeni Malkin added three assists to help the Penguins win their second straight and seventh place finish in the last nine. Tristan Jarry stopped 26 shots for the Penguins, who are 9-2-2 in their last 13.

Pavel Buchnevich and Vladimir Tarasenko scored for the Blues, who have lost three straight games and five in six after a seven-game winning streak. Jordan Binnington gave up four goals on 17 shots before being drawn in the first minute of the second period. Thomas Greiss had 19 saves to relief.

St. Louis were without Jordan Kyrou, who leads the team with nine goals, due to illness.

Pittsburgh got off to a strong start, scoring three goals in the first half as the Blues conceded three goals in a half for the sixth straight season and 14th time this season.

Kapanen opened the scoring at 6:58 just seconds after a Pittsburgh power play elapsed. A point shot hit his skate and then ricocheted off Binnington towards goal.

Rust extended Pittsburgh’s lead with his sixth at 11:59. He has scored one goal in his last 14 games.

Buchnevich made it 2-1 just 48 seconds later when he took a cross-ice point pass from Nick Leddy and knocked Jarry down the short side with a one-timer off the long wall for his eighth time.

Kapanen scored his second goal of the game to make it 3-1 with 3:05 in the first round. He took a spinning feed from Malkin and converted from the top of the crease with 1 second left to a Pittsburgh power play.

Pittsburgh was 27th on the power play, which came into play with a recent 0-for-17 drought. But the Penguins scored in consecutive man-advantage games for the first time since late October.

Zucker gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead just 1:51 into the second half. At the end of the first, Binnington slashed Zucker’s face with his glove while circling the net. However, Zucker chased Binnington out of the game when he hit him with a wrist shot from the left circle for his sixth.

Tarasenko struck from a breakaway at 8:22 a second to pull the Blues to two. However, Kapanen completed his hat-trick just over two minutes later on a backdoor feed from Rust for his fifth win of the season.

Crosby scored his 13th and capped the scoring with an empty net at 4:48 in the third.

NEXT

Blues: With the New York Rangers on Monday night in the middle game of a three-game trip.

Penguins: Host Columbus on Tuesday night to end a five-game homestand.

https://fox2now.com/sports/st-louis-blues/kapanens-hat-trick-powers-penguins-to-6-2-win-over-blues/ Kapanen’s hat trick gives the Penguins a 6-2 win over the Blues

Sarah Y. Kim

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