NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Sidney Crosby’s goal in the shootout gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 victory over Nashville on Thursday night, ending the Penguins‘ three-game losing streak.
Bryan Rust scored in regulation for the Penguins, who moved into a second-place tie with the New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division with 91 points each. Matt Murray, who shut out Nashville in his previous two games against the Predators, made 27 saves.
It was the third straight game that has gone past regulation for Pittsburgh, which lost 2-1 to Philadelphia in overtime on Sunday and 3-2 at Carolina in a shootout on Tuesday.
Ryan Ellis scored for Nashville, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. Pekka Rinne made 31 saves in the loss as Nashville remained three points behind first-place Winnipeg in the Central Division.
Rust gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead when he scored on a backhander at 5:57 of the second period. The left wing skated across the crease before firing the puck into an open net on Rinne’s stick side for his career-high 18th goal.
Ellis tied it at 1 with a wrist shot that beat Murray to the near post with 3:01 left in regulation. It was Ellis’ first goal since Feb. 5 against Arizona.
Pittsburgh improved to 133-1-6 when leading after two periods since the start of the 2015-16 season, best in the NHL during that stretch.
Notes: The Penguins have scored only five goals in the last four games. … Penguins LW Adam Johnson, 24, made his NHL debut. He was paired with C Matt Cullen and RW Garrett Wilson on the fourth line. Johnson was Wilkes-Barres/Scranton’s second-leading scorer with 40 points in the AHL. … This was the first of two meetings between the teams who meet again at Pittsburgh on March 29. … Nashville’s power play entered the game ranked 30th out of 31 NHL teams.
Pittsburgh: Visits Dallas on Saturday.
Nashville: Visits Winnipeg on Saturday in a showdown of the Central Division’s top teams.