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National Hockey League
Chicago 6, Pittsburgh 3
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Referees: Garrett Rank, Brad Watson
Linesmen: Michel Cormier, Brandon Gawryletz
Attendance: 21232

Marcus Kruger scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period Wednesday, and the Chicago Blackhawks broke an eight-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

At 3:49 of the third, Kruger was at the lip of the crease when he converted a centering pass from the corner by Andreas Martinsen to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 lead.

Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad added empty-net goals in the last 62 seconds.

Toews finished with a goal and two assists while Kruger, Martinsen, Saad and Brent Seabrook each had a goal and an assist for Chicago. Alex DeBrincat also scored for the Blackhawks, who moved out of last place in the NHL, a point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings.

Bryan Rust broke a goal slump with a hat trick to account for the goals for Pittsburgh, which had been 3-0-1 in its previous four games. The Penguins fell to 0-6-3 in their past nine games against the Blackhawks.

Rust had four assists and 30 shots, but no goals, in his previous 21 games.

Chicago's Corey Crawford stopped 40 of 43 Penguins shots.

Casey DeSmith made 23 saves for Pittsburgh.

The Blackhawks had gone 11 games without scoring first, but they got the first two against Pittsburgh.

Martinsen made it 1-0 after a long, furious scramble around the Penguins net at 14:14 of the first period. Seabrook upped it to 2-0 when he moved in from the right point and ripped a shot past DeSmith's glove 3:36 later.

Rust got his first at 18:40 of the first. He curled out of the corner and beat Crawford to the glove side to cut Pittsburgh's deficit to 2-1.

At 5:46 of the second, Rust tied it. Derek Grant stole the puck from Seabrook in the neutral zone. Crawford made a pad save on Grant's uncontested shot, and Rust deposited the rebound.

Chicago regained the lead, 3-2, when DeBrincat roofed a shot past DeSmith on a power play at 15:28 of the second.

Rust, with a little luck, completed his hat trick with 56.8 seconds left in the second. His cross-ice pass from the left circle hit Seabrook's stick and deflected past Crawford for a 3-3 tie.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Pittsburgh   Chicago
Bryan Rust 3 Points Jonathan Toews 3
Bryan Rust 3 Goals Jonathan Toews 1
Zach Aston-Reese 1 Assists Jonathan Toews 2
N/A Power Play Goals Alex Debrincat 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Casey DeSmith .852 Save Percentage Corey Crawford .930
Casey DeSmith 23 Saves Corey Crawford 40
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Pittsburgh 43 3 0-2 1-2 4 28
Chicago 29 6 1-2 2-2 4 27
Upcoming Games
  • Chicago will play their next game at home against Winnipeg. The Blackhawks have a W/L % of .300 after a win and .304 after a loss.
  • Pittsburgh will play their next game at home against Boston. The Penguins have a W/L % of .385 after a win and .471 after a loss.