Sports Large Right Rail Promo

NHL on Twitter

National Hockey League
Pittsburgh 3, Minnesota 2
When: 6:00 PM ET, Monday, December 31, 2018
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Referees: Marc Joannette, Wes McCauley
Linesmen: Darren Gibbs, Derek Nansen
Attendance: 19163

Phil Kessel had a goal and two assists and Sidney Crosby added a goal and an assist Monday as the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins won their sixth straight game, 3-2 over the slumping Minnesota Wild.

Kessel has three goals and 10 points in the past four games. Crosby, playing in his 900th career game, registered his fourth straight multiple-point game and has 16 points over his past nine games.

Riley Sheahan scored what stood as the winner for Pittsburgh, making it 3-1 in the second period.

Goaltender Casey DeSmith made 31 saves for the Penguins.

Mikko Koivu had a goal and an assist and Zach Parise scored a goal for Minnesota, which is on a 1-5-1 skid with just 10 goals in those seven games.

Devan Dubnyk stopped 29 of 32 Pittsburgh shots.

Koivu opened the scoring at 5:27 of the first on a Wild power play. Off the rush, he took a pass from Nino Niederreiter at the stop of the slot and got off a shot that squeezed between DeSmith's right arm and his body.

Crosby tied it at 15:43, also on a power play. He shoveled a one-timer past Dubnyk for his 18th goal after a nicely threaded pass from Kessel.

With 21 seconds left in the period, Kessel gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead after Zach Aston-Reese stole the puck from Minnesota's Jared Spurgeon in the Wild end. Kessel, after a cross-zone pass, carried the puck toward net and, from nearly beside it, threw the puck in front. It glanced off the blade of defenseman Ryan Suter and past Dubnyk.

Minnesota's Luke Kunin deflected a pass from Parise past DeSmith at 6:11 of the second, but it was immediately ruled no goal because Kunin's stick was too elevated.

Sheahan upped the Penguins' lead to 3-1 at 10:19 of the second. His shot from the right dot hit the blade of the Wild's Marcus Foligno and skipped over Dubnyk's blocker.

Parise closed it to 3-2 at 15:55 of the third when he moved in from the left wall and clanked a shot in off the far post.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Pittsburgh   Minnesota
Phil Kessel 3 Points Mikko Koivu 2
Phil Kessel 1 Goals Mikko Koivu 1
Phil Kessel 2 Assists Mikko Koivu 1
Sidney Crosby 1 Power Play Goals Mikko Koivu 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Casey DeSmith .939 Save Percentage Devan Dubnyk .906
Casey DeSmith 31 Saves Devan Dubnyk 29
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Pittsburgh 32 3 1-1 0-1 4 26
Minnesota 33 2 1-1 0-1 4 29
Upcoming Games
  • Minnesota will play their next game on the road against Toronto. The Wild have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .450 after a loss.
  • Pittsburgh will play their next game on the road against NY Rangers. The Penguins have a W/L % of .550 after a win and .526 after a loss.