Kris Letang’s two goals fuel Penguins’ win over Habs


Kris Letang scored twice Thursday as the Pittsburgh Penguins put up four unanswered goals to snap a two-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

Drew O’Connor added a goal and an assist, Bryan Rust had a goal and Erik Karlsson had two assists for the Penguins, who were 0-1-1 in their previous two games and had lost five of six (1-4-1).

Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry made 30 saves to improve to 6-1-1 against Montreal in his career.

Mike Matheson scored for the Canadiens, who have lost four in a row and six of seven.

Montreal goaltender Cayden Primeau made 23 saves.

Canadiens defenseman Jayden Struble was helped down the runway in the third period because of an unspecified injury.

Forward Colin White was in an interesting situation for the game. He was put on waivers by the Penguins on Wednesday and participated with them in an optional morning skate Thursday. Hours before the game, Montreal claimed White, so he moved down the hall at PPG Paints Arena to the visitors’ locker room and suited up for the Canadiens.

White wound up with a plus-1 rating in 11:11 of ice time.

Matheson, a former Penguins defenseman, opened the scoring at 9:05 of the first period when he capitalized on a turnover by Letang. From the slot, Matheson fired off a short-side shot using Tanner Pearson as a screen for a 1-0 Canadiens lead.

Letang redeemed himself when he tied it at 11:24 of the first. Evgeni Malkin emerged with the puck from a thicket of players near the right corner. He fed Letang at the right point, and Letang’s shot got through a crowded crease.

Pittsburgh scored two quick goals a little over midway through the second.

Six seconds into a power play, Rust made it 2-1 at 11:30. Sidney Crosby won a faceoff at the left dot. Karlsson got the puck and sent a high shot toward the net. With his back to the net, Rust redirected the puck past Primeau.

O’Connor doubled the lead 21 seconds later off a tic-tac-toe play. His rising wrister from above the left hashmarks beat Primeau short side.

Letang scored a long-range empty-netter with 1:25 left in the third period.