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Pens shoot down Ducks with 3rd-period surge
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - After struggling to find the back of the net in recent games, the Pittsburgh Penguins finally broke out in a big way.
Brian Gibbons, Brandon Sutter and Sidney Crosby each scored third-period goals to back 27 saves from Marc-Andre Fleury as Pittsburgh dealt the skidding Anaheim Ducks a 3-1 loss at CONSOL Energy Center.
Gibbons, making his NHL debut after being recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL on Monday, added an assist on Sutter's marker that came just 62 seconds after the rookie snapped a scoreless tie. Evgeni Malkin delivered a pair of helpers for the Penguins, who had registered only eight goals in dropping four of their last five coming in.
"I think I am just taking it all in right now," Gibbons said. "I don't usually show a lot of emotion, but on the inside I am really happy."
Ryan Getzlaf accounted for the lone Anaheim goal as the Ducks completed a rough East Coast four-game swing with an 0-3-1 record. Viktor Fasth stopped 24 shots in a losing cause.
"When you don't have four lines contributing scoring, it's tough to win," said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau.
After battling through a scoreless first two periods, the teams erupted for a combined three goals over a span of less than 1 1/2 minutes early in the third.
Malkin set up the first by skating through the Anaheim zone before sending a crisp centering pass that Gibbons backhanded home to break the stalemate 3:52 into the final frame.
"I didn't know it went in right away," Gibbons remarked. "I was kind of blocked off by their defenseman. I saw Geno [Malkin] get excited, so that's when I knew it went in."
Sutter quickly made it a 2-0 lead, winning the puck behind the Ducks' net and sending it to Olli Maatta for a long wrister that the Pittsburgh center redirected past Fasth.
Anaheim had a near-instant response, however. A mere 26 seconds after Sutter's score, ex-Penguin Ben Lovejoy found Getzlaf in front of the net and the Ducks captain beat Fleury one-on-one to pull his team closer.
The Ducks had a chance to draw even after earning a power play not long after the goal, but Pittsburgh successfully killed the penalty off.
Anaheim's Andrew Cogliano later missed an open net from in close, and Crosby made him pay just seconds afterward by firing a shot from the right circle that got through traffic with 12:04 left to play.
A holding penalty on Dustin Penner with 1:42 remaining all but sealed the Ducks' fate.
Anaheim started out the contest strong, ripping off 12 shots before the Penguins recorded their first of the game with two minutes left in the opening period. Fleury kept his team in it, however, with a sharp performance between the pipes.
Fasth was the busier keeper during the second period, coming up with 12 saves in the middle session to maintain the scoreless deadlock into the third.
Crosby's goal was only his second in the last 11 games. The Penguins are 13-3-0 when he notches at least one point this season and 0-5-0 when he has been held scoreless ... Fleury has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of his 11 home starts in 2013-14 ... Pittsburgh has now killed off 21-of-22 shorthanded situations over its last nine outings ... Anaheim forward Matt Beleskey, out since Oct. 5 with an upper-body injury, returned to action following a 20-game absence ... Pittsburgh's Jussi Jokinen skated in his 600th career NHL game.
11/19 02:11:17 ET