Penguins Batter Avs
DENVER (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots, Steve Sullivan had a goal and an assist and the streaking Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-1 on Saturday night.
Evgeni Malkin, Arron Asham, Richard Park and Deryk Engelland also scored to help the Penguins stretch their winning streak to a season-high five games.
Matt Hunwick scored, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 22 saves for Colorado.
The Penguins won after losing another player to a concussion. Defenseman Kris Letang was scratched after taking an inadvertent hit to the head from Dallas’ Eric Nystrom on Wednesday night. Captain Sydney Crosby has missed 36 games with neck and concussion-like symptoms this season.
Pittsburgh didn’t need either player to beat Colorado for the fourth straight time.
Asham opened the scoring for Pittsburgh with his third goal of the season. He took a drop pass, glided to the right circle and beat Giguere on the short side with 7:55 left in the first.
Engelland made it 2-0 when he deflected Jordan Staal’s centering pass over Giguere’s right shoulder 1:22 after Asham scored. It was Engelland’s fifth goal.
Malkin made it 3-0 when he scored his 38th goal on a rebound early in the second period. Park added to Colorado’s misfortune when he stepped out of the penalty box, picked up a loose puck at center ice and beat Giguere on a breakaway midway through the second frame.
Fleury is tied with Tom Barrasso for Pittsburgh’s career shutout record with 22. Fleury came close to claiming the record when Hunwick scored off the rebound with 11:02 left.
Sullivan scored an empty-net goal late in the third to complete the rout.
The loss was a blow to Colorado’s playoff push. The Avalanche had won four straight to move in contention in the Western Conference, but they now trail eighth-place Dallas by three points.
Notes: Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin had two assists each for Pittsburgh. … Malkin extended his points streak to seven games. … The Avalanche honored former defenseman Rob Blake before the game. Blake was traded to the Avalanche during their Stanley Cup season of 2000-01 and played four more seasons with Colorado before signing with the Los Angeles Kings in 2006. He retired in 2010 after two seasons with San Jose. … The Penguins are 7-0-2 on the road against Western Conference teams. Their last regulation road loss to a Western Conference team was a 3-2 setback at Anaheim on Nov. 5, 2010.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)