Sports Network | December 4, 2010
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) – Sidney Crosby and Paul Martin both scored two goals, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins extend their winning streak to nine games with a 7-2 rout of the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
Crosby now has at least one point in 15 consecutive games during which he has totaled 17 goals and 14 assists.
Michael Rupp, Tyler Kennedy and Deryk Engelland also tallied for the Penguins, who have posted nine straight victories for the first time since a 10-game run from January 28-February 15, 1999.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves for Pittsburgh, which improved to 11-0-1 in its last 12 games.
Samuel Pahlsson and Chris Clark lit the lamp for the Blue Jackets, who have lost five games in a row. Steve Mason allowed four goals on 13 shots before being replaced by Mathieu Garon in the first period. Garon stopped 19 shots the rest of the way.
“We need to stick together,” said Columbus forward R.J. Umberger. “We are going to get through this. We didn’t think it was going to be easy, we knew there were going to be tough times. We are going to push through it, we are going to stick together as a team and get thorough it.”
Pittsburgh led 4-0 through the opening 20 minutes. The Penguins scored three times on the power play and finished with a 16-2 advantage in shots.
Martin collected a loose puck on the blue line and took a couple strides before firing a low shot that deflected off the skate of a Columbus player and past Mason at the 6:43 mark.
The only even-strength goal of the first period was scored by Rupp a little over two minutes later. Eric Godard threw a shot toward the net, which squeaked behind Mason. Rupp crashed the crease and nudged the puck across the goal line at 8:59.
Martin struck again with the man advantage, this time drifting down the slot and snapping a shot through the pads of Mason at 12:55.
Crosby’s deflection of Mark Letestu’s point shot chased Mason to the bench at 15:49.
“Early on a couple of times you could see they put pucks in and wanted to come real hard with the forecheck and try to set up their game,” said Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma. “Our guys did a great job of eliminating that and executing and getting out of there not allowing them to get to their game. The power play in the first period put us in a good spot.”
Kennedy stashed the rebound of a Letestu shot to make it 5-0 at 3:09 of the middle stanza.
Pahlsson scored on a deflection to put the Blue Jackets on the board at 6:21 of the second period.
Crosby one-timed a Chris Kunitz pass to restore Pittsburgh’s five-goal cushion midway through the contest. Engelland beat Garon with 1:41 left in the second.
Clark netted a power-play goal 65 seconds into the third period to finish the scoring.
Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin missed the game with a knee injury…Fleury has won eight straight starts, matching his career high…Pittsburgh notched its sixth straight victory on the road.