Rookies Letang And Kennedy Lead Penguins To 3-1 Win Over Coyotes

Tuesday, December 4th 2007, 8:00 am
By: News On 6

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Move over Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. For at least one night, there were a couple of new hot shots in Pittsburgh.

Rookies Kris Letang and Tyler Kennedy scored in the final 9 minutes of the third period, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday.

Letang scored the go-ahead goal off a pass from Crosby on the power play. It was the Penguins' first goal with the extra skater in eight chances.

"The more you play, the more you gain confidence," said Letang, a third-round pick in 2005 who played in only his 15th career game. "Every time I finish a game, I settle down and say, 'These things are good, these things are wrong' and just try to get better every day."

Kennedy, a fourth-round pick in 2004, made it 3-1 about 3 1/2 minutes later with his fourth goal in 13 games, with Jordan Staal getting only his fourth assist in 26 games.

"We faced a team with a lot of talent," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We're at the end of a trip and took a lot of unnecessary penalties, but the penalty kill worked hard. We didn't deserve to win this hockey game."

In other NHL games, it was: Dallas 2, Columbus 1, in a shootout; Boston 3, N.Y. Islanders 1; Carolina 4, N.Y. Rangers 0; San Jose 3, Colorado 2; and Edmonton 4, Los Angeles 3, SO

After Phoenix was called for too many men on the ice, Malkin fed the puck from behind the net to Crosby in the right circle. Crosby faked a shot before throwing a pass across the slot to Letang, whose one-timer beat goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

Letang didn't have a goal in seven previous games this season and had missed several other good chances set up by Crosby on the power play.

"He's smart and he got in the right spot, it took him a couple to get it but it was a big one for us," Crosby said. "The power play was struggling a bit there, so to get a chance like that late in the game and come through was big."

Phoenix had tied it 1-all on Shane Doan's goal early in the third. The loss sent the Coyotes home winless on a four-game road trip.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 17 saves for Pittsburgh, and Bryzgalov stopped 30 shots. Stars 2, Blue Jackets 1, SO

At Columbus, Ohio, Niklas Hagman's backhand goal powered Dallas to its second shootout win over Columbus this season.

Chris Conner scored in the third period for Dallas, and Nikolai Zherdev in the first for Columbus, which fell to 1-5 in shootouts.

Marty Turco had 25 saves for Dallas, with Pascal Leclaire stopping 33 shots. Hurricanes 4, Rangers 0

At New York, Matt Cullen had two assists in his return to Madison Square Garden and Cam Ward earned his second shutout of the season for Carolina, stopping 28 shots.

Cullen, traded back to the Hurricanes this summer after one season with the Rangers, had the primary assist on Scott Walker's goal and then helped set up the first of Cory Stillman's two.

David Tanabe also scored. Bruins 3, Islanders 1

At Uniondale, N.Y., Tim Thomas stopped 33 shots to help Boston win for the first time on Long Island in 11 games.

Glen Murray, Petteri Nokelainen and Chuck Kobasew scored for Boston, which was 0-5-4-1 at the Nassau Coliseum since a 4-2 victory on Dec. 22, 2001.

Chris Campoli scored for New York. Sharks 3, Avalanche 2

At Denver, Steve Bernier, Milan Michalek and Mike Grier each scored, and Evgeni Nabokov made 33 saves to lead San Jose.

Jose Theodore had 25 saves, and Milan Hejduk and Andrew Brunette had goals for Colorado, which fell to the Sharks for the second time in four nights. Oilers 4, Kings 3, SO

At Los Angeles, Mathieu Garon made 31 saves in regulation and survived all three shots he faced in the shootout, leading Edmonton over his old team.

Garon, who spent the previous two seasons in Los Angeles, made his first start against his former teammates since signing a two-year contract with Edmonton as an unrestricted free agent July 3.

The Kings' Ladislav Nagy tied it at 3 on a goal that required a lengthy video replay delay for confirmation.

Joni Pitkanen, Dustin Penner and Patrick Thoresen scored second-period goals for the Oilers.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 20 saves for the Kings.