Penguins powered by Matheson’s 3-point night, prevent Sens’ 3rd-period comeback

Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby scored, and the streaking Pittsburgh Penguins held off the Ottawa Senators 6-4 on Thursday night.

Jake Guentzel’s team-best 21st goal of the season was a much-needed empty-netter, as Pittsburgh nearly blew a four-goal lead in the third period.

Mike Matheson scored twice, Dominik Simon also had a goal and Tristan Jarry stopped 39 shots for the Penguins, who have won three straight and 14 of 16. Pittsburgh has won 10 in a row at home against Ottawa and has points in 13 consecutive home games versus the Senators dating to Feb. 13, 2013.

Drake Batherson had Ottawa’s lone goal in the first two periods, and the Senators trailed 5-1 entering the third. But they scored the next three goals, trimming the deficit to one.

Filip Gustavsson made 23 saves for Ottawa. Anton Forsberg stopped six shots in the first period before getting pulled.

Tim Stutzle scored his sixth goal at 1:45 of the third and Josh Norris followed, cutting it to 5-3. Jarry stopped Alex Formenton with a pad save on a penalty shot, but Norris scored his second of the game and 18th of the season at 8:02 to make it 5-4.

WATCH | Penguins find an unlikely goal-scoring source:

Penguins Matheson scores twice in wild win over Senators

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Duration 2:01

Pittsburgh defenceman Mike Matheson scored twice including the winner as the Penguins held on to defeat Ottawa 6-4 Thursday night. 2:01

Guentzel effectively ended it for Pittsburgh. In his last 22 games, he has been held off the scoresheet just once dating to Nov. 13.

Crosby and Malkin played together in Pittsburgh for the first time since last season’s playoff series against the New York Islanders. They scored in the same game for the first time since March 15, a 4-1 home win against Boston.

Malkin, a four-time all-star and 2012 Hart Trophy winner, made his season debut on Pittsburgh’s recent six-game road trip. Malkin, who missed the Penguins’ first 34 games after undergoing right knee surgery in June, played his first game in Pittsburgh since May 24.

Simon opened the scoring at 4:28 of the first period before Batherson tied it at 10:12 and extended his point streak to four games.

Malkin helped Pittsburgh regain its lead 88 seconds later, and he thought he scored a second soon after, but it was overturned following a replay challenge for offside.

Senators coach D.J. Smith pulled Forsberg after the overturned call, but the Penguins extended their lead to 3-1 on Matheson’s first goal. Teddy Blueger tied his career-best point streak at four games with an assist.

Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead with a power-play goal at 11:32. Matheson scored his second of the game to make it 5-1 at 18:41 of the second.

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