Kunitz's 2 goals lead Penguins past Oilers 5-1
Sunday, March 13, 2011; 5:52 PM
PITTSBURGH -- Chris Kunitz scored two goals, Tyler Kennedy added three assists, and the Pittsburgh Penguins moved to within three points of the Eastern Conference lead by beating the Edmonton Oilers 5-1 on Sunday.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves one day after being pulled during a loss to Montreal, Max Talbot and Jordan Staal each had a goal and an assist, and Zbynek Michalek also scored for Pittsburgh, which reached 40 victories (40-22-8) for the fifth consecutive season.
Ryan Jones scored in the third period for the Oilers (23-38-9), who have lost four straight and have the NHL's worst record.
Playing without scoring leaders, Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky, who were all sidelined because of injury, Edmonton was held to fewer than two goals for the fourth consecutive game.
Kunitz scored the first and last goals of the game, giving him 20 this season. He netted his first in three games after missing 13 because of an injury less than a minute after the Penguins killed Edmonton's two-man advantage.
Kunitz's goal with 3:49 left was Pittsburgh's first in 23 power-play opportunities over six games, including six on Sunday.
The Penguins - playing with five defensemen because Matt Niskanen sat out because of flulike symptoms - beat Edmonton for the fourth time in a row.
The Oilers had only two shots on goal in the first period, none in the final 12:40 despite a 5-on-3 advantage that lasted 1:46 late in the period.
Edmonton was much better in the second period, outshooting Pittsburgh 11-10. The Oilers had seven shots in first 3:30 of the period.
But the Penguins scored twice, beginning with Talbot's eighth of the season 6:27 into the period on a partial breakaway set up by Pascal Dupuis.
Staal made it 3-0 with his eighth with 1:14 left in the second, slamming home a loose puck that was trickling toward an open net off a shot from Kennedy.
Fleury was eyeing his third shutout of the season and 19th of his NHL career, but Jones scored 71 seconds into the third period. Jones deflected Andrew Cogliano's shot while standing in front of Fleury and slammed in the puck that had gotten behind Fleury.
Michalek added his second of the season with 12:08 left.
Notes: Cooke's assist was his 300th NHL point. ... Edmonton hasn't won in Pittsburgh in more than five years and the Penguins are 8-2-1 against the Oilers since the 1999-2000 season. ... The Penguins are 36-15-4 when Kunitz is in the lineup, 13-2-1 when he scores a goal, and 23-4-1 when he has a point. ... Pittsburgh has allowed only 19 goals in its past 12 home games. ... Staal played a day after taking a stick to the face while sitting on the bench Saturday.