Penguins soar past Jets as Jarry nets sixth shutout
“We were on our heels a bit and (Winnipeg) pressed,” Rust said. “They’re a good team, but (Jarry) was there and made some really big saves for us.”
Connor Hellebuyck made 24 saves for the Jets, who lost their fourth straight game after winning 10 of 11.
“The similarity in the four games is our inability to score,” coach Rick Bowness said. “We’re not getting outplayed. We’re just not scoring right now.”
Rust scored his 12th goal and Carter his sixth, both on the power play, as the Penguins scored multiple goals with the man advantage for the first time since Dec. 18.
Letang scored his fourth goal and became the 21st defenceman in NHL history to reach 30 points 14 times.
Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan earned his 430th win in his 800th NHL game and Jake Guentzel had an assist in his 500th game for the Penguins, who have won consecutive games after losing three straight and four of five. Pittsburgh has points in 16 of its last 21 games.
“Obviously, we’re not in the position we want to be,” Jarry said. “We want to be in a playoff position. We’re not happy with where we are and we need points.”
Jets leading scorer Mark Scheifele returned after missing six games with a lower-body injury. He appeared to score early in the third period, but the goal was disallowed after a successful Pittsburgh challenge for offside.
The Jets allowed more than two goals for just the fourth time in the last 26 games.
“We had a ton of good looks,” Scheifele said. “I don’t think it’s anything to get frustrated about. We made a lot of good plays.”
The Penguins have won 17 of their last 21 against the Jets. At home, Pittsburgh has won 20 of the past 22 versus Winnipeg dating to March 24, 2007.
The teams meet again Saturday in Winnipeg.
Letang opened the scoring at 7:16 of the first period. He intercepted a pass at the Winnipeg blue line, switched to his backhand and flipped a shot past Hellebuyck from the slot.
Pittsburgh scored two power-play goals 90 seconds apart in the second. Winnipeg defenceman Brenden Dillon was assessed a five-minute major and a match penalty for an illegal check to the head of Penguins forward Noel Acciari, who left the game and did not return.
“Our major concern is Noel,” Sullivan said. “I think he’s doing OK, but he’s being evaluated. We’ll allow the league to go through their process. We can all have opinions, but at the end of the day, our opinions don’t matter.”
Carter scored at 7:33 and Rust made it 3-0 at 9:03 of the second, as both scored rebound goals from the top of the crease. Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to eight games with the secondary assist on Rust’s goal.
“You hate to see things like that happen,” Rust said about the hit on Acciari. “To be able to get a little bit of revenge and score a couple goals was huge for us.”
Jets: Visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.
Penguins: At the Minnesota Wild on Friday.
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