Penguins rout Kings, Sullivan earns 300th win as Pittsburgh coach
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins won their 300th game during coach Mike Sullivan’s tenure, defeating the Los Angeles Kings 6-1 at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday.
Sullivan has the most wins by a coach in Penguins history, ahead of Dan Bylsma (252). He is 300-156-55 since being hired on Dec. 12, 2015.
Sullivan also coached the Boston Bruins from 2003-06 and has an NHL career record of 370-212-93.
“It’s humbling. It means a lot,” Sullivan said. “I’m grateful to the players. They’re the guys that go out there and earn the wins for us. These guys that I’ve been coaching in my time here work so hard to bring the success that we’ve had on the ice. I’m grateful to those guys. They’re the ones that make the sacrifices every day.”
Six players scored, and Tristan Jarry made 39 saves for Pittsburgh (3-0-1), which has outscored opponents 18-5 in three home games. Jarry has allowed five goals on 104 shots (.952 save percentage) in three starts this season.
“I think I just want to get better every year,” Jarry said. “Every year, I want to take a step. Every year I come in, I’m a little bit more mature. I have a little more, I guess, games under me. So just being able to start, knowing what to expect, it does nothing but help.”
Cal Petersen surrendered three goals on nine shots in the first period for Los Angeles (3-3-0), who had won three straight. Jonathan Quick replaced Petersen and made 22 saves over the final two periods.
“I guess with Cal, there’s no secret we have to get him going,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “He has to play like he can play. He’s an NHL goaltender. He’s an outstanding young man that’s played extremely well at this level. We’re trying, just like we would with forwards and defensemen, to get him to where he can be. He has to be better.”
Jan Rutta put the Penguins ahead 1-0 at 4:04 of the first on their first shot, a snap shot past a screen from Jason Zucker.
Jake Guentzel made it 2-0 at 14:35 on his third goal in four games. Kris Letang split the defense to charge below the goal line before passing back to Guentzel for a tip-in.
He left the game after taking a shot from Letang up high at 6:51 of the third period and was being evaluated after the game, Sullivan said.
Rickard Rakell extended it to 3-0 at 18:19. After a one-timer from Jeff Petry went off the left post, Rakell went through the crease behind Petersen for a backhand before falling over Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.
“When I look at the start we had, I thought we played the way we wanted to play,” McLellan said. “We played fast. We were aggressive, forced them into situations where they had to turn the puck over. Things were going pretty well for us. Even after the first goal, I thought we responded well. By the time it got to three, unfortunately, it wasn’t the same way anymore.”
Petry made it 4-0 on a power play, scoring his first goal with the Penguins at 4:13 on a wrist shot through traffic.
“To get the first one is a relief,” Petry said. “I’ve had some looks, had some good shots. It’s good to get that one under my belt.”
Jeff Carter beat Brandt Clarke for a short breakaway before shooting five-hole, extending it to 5-0 at 3:01 of the third. Ryan Poehling made it 6-0 with a short-handed slap shot from the high slot at 4:38.
Carl Grundstrom scored the lone goal for Los Angeles on a one-timer from the left face-off circle with 2:28 remaining on a power play.
“Being down 3-0 after the first period certainly doesn’t help,” Kings captain Anze Kopitar said. “I didn’t think our play was that bad. Just a couple tough breaks. We’re down 3-0 and then you’re obviously playing catch up. You’re trying to make something happen. It didn’t happen tonight.”
NOTES: Penguins forward Teddy Blueger missed a fourth straight game to start the season with an upper-body injury sustained in training camp Sept. 28. He is day to day. … Kings defenseman Alexander Edler was sidelined a third straight game after taking a puck to the face in warmups Monday. He took part in the morning skate Thursday. … Pittsburgh is the sixth team in NHL history to score at least six goals in its first three home games of a season, joining Los Angeles (four games in 1988-89), the New York Islanders (four games in 1984-85), the Colorado Avalanche (three games in 1996-97), the Calgary Flames (three games in 1991-92) and the Hartford Whalers (three games in 1985-86).