PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins won 5-3 without Evgeni Malkin against the Ottawa Senators at PPG Paints Arena on Friday.
The 32-year-old center did not play because of an upper-body injury that will also sideline him against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Malkin is day to day but will be out until at least Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Teddy Blueger scored his first NHL goal, and Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust each scored twice for the Penguins (28-17-6), who have won two straight games after losing four of their previous five. Casey DeSmith made 37 saves.
[WATCH: All Senators vs. Penguins highlights]
“[Rust] is playing well,” Sullivan said. “He’s a guy that tends to be streaky, but when his confidence is high and he’s feeling it out there, I think he’s really noticeable. … We thought [Blueger] managed really well. He’s a real smart player. He sees the ice well. He has awareness away from the puck.”
Bobby Ryan, Mikkel Boedker and Matt Duchene scored for the Senators (19-27-5), who lost their third in a row in their first game following their mandatory five-day break after 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend. Anders Nilsson made 35 saves.
“It was like I said it would be: tougher start and get better as the game goes on,” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said. “Defensively, that’s where we were rusty there. We gave them the inside too many times, and that’s a team you can’t give the inside to. … So we were expecting it to be a, hopefully, tighter game by the middle of the game. When you give them three goals like that, I really liked our push. We were right there.”
Blueger gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 3:19 of the first period when he scored with a slap shot off a pass from Matt Cullen from below the goal line. He made his NHL debut in a 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday after being recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.
Guentzel made it 2-0 at 17:55 of the first. Sidney Crosby, who had two assists, carried the puck around Duchene to the left face-off circle to set up Guentzel for a one-timer.
Rust extended the lead to 3-0 at 11:36 of the second period when Phil Kessel found him in the slot for a snap shot. Nick Bjugstad had the secondary assist for his first point with the Penguins.
Bjugstad and forward Jared McCann debuted for the Penguins after being acquired in a trade from the Florida Panthers on Friday.
“You’re walking into a locker room full of very good players,” Bjugstad said. “We had our Florida Panthers bags. I don’t know. You can’t make it up. So it was good to get the win, most importantly. I think I’ll remember that one the rest of my life.”
Ryan cut it to 3-1 on a power-play goal at 15:00 of the second before Rust made it 4-1 at 8:05 of the third.
Boedker scored another power-play goal for the Senators to cut it to 4-2 at 13:46, and Duchene shot five-hole on a breakaway to make it 4-3 with 4:52 remaining.
“They capitalized on everything we gave them,” Duchene said. “So you have to give them some credit there. At the same time, you make it 4-3 there. We believed we were going to come back. The guys stuck with it big time. It’s 4-1 with 10 minutes to go, and we make it 4-3. So there’s some good things there.”
Guentzel scored his second of the night with a shot from the left circle with 2:52 left for the 5-3 final.
They said it
“They got the lead and kind of just stuck to their guns about going on about putting pucks to the net, doing things that wear guys out. It showed at the end. But for us, I think we cleaned things up as we went, but just too little too late.” — Senators forward Bobby Ryan
“I didn’t even know what time we got in here, but it was basically say ‘hi’ to the coaches and get on the ice to play a game. It was pretty crazy.” — Penguins forward Jared McCann on playing after being acquired in a trade from the Panthers on Friday
Need to know
Senators forward Colin White played after missing five games with a shoulder injury. He had one shot on goal and one takeaway in 16:46. … Senators forward Mark Stone reached 300 NHL points (117 goals, 183 assists) with an assist on Boedker’s goal. … Bjugstad and McCann arrived at PPG Paints Arena after warmups. They landed in Pittsburgh at 6:18 p.m., got to the locker room about 10 minutes before puck drop, and made it to the bench as the national anthems began. Bjugstad said they began stretching while on their plane and had a police escort to the arena. … The Penguins sent forwards Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan, along with three picks in the 2019 NHL Draft (one in the second round, two in the fourth), to the Panthers in the trade. … Crosby passed Denis Potvin for 44th on the NHL all-time assists list with 743.
Senators: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CITY, TVAS, FS-D+, NHL.TV)
Penguins: At the Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, CBC, SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)