PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kasperi Kapanen scored his second career hat trick and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the St. Louis Blues 6-2 on Saturday night.
Bryan Rust had a goal and three assists, Jason Zucker had a goal and two assists, Sidney Crosby also scored and Evgeni Malkin added three assists to help the Penguins win their second straight and seventh in the last nine. Tristan Jarry stopped 26 shots for the Penguins, who are 9-2-2 in their last 13.
Pavel Buchnevich and Vladimir Tarasenko scored for the Blues, who have lost three straight and five of six after a seven-game win streak. Jordan Binnington gave up four goals on 17 shots before being pulled in the opening minute of the second period. Thomas Greiss had 19 saves in relief.
St. Louis was without Jordan Kyrou, who leads the team with nine goals, due to an illness.
Pittsburgh got off to a strong start, scored three times in the first period as the Blues allowed three goals in a period for the sixth straight game and the 14th time this season.
Kapanen opened the scoring at 6:58, just seconds after a Pittsburgh power play expired. A point shot hit his skate and then bounced off Binnington for the goal.
Rust added to Pittsburgh’s lead with his sixth at 11:59. He entered with one goal in his previous 14 games.
Buchnevich made it 2-1 just 48 seconds later as he took a cross-ice point pass from Nick Leddy and beat Jarry to the short side with a one-timer from the far wall for his eighth.
Kapanen scored his second of the game to make it 3-1 with 3:05 left in the first. He took a spinning feed from Malkin and converted from the top of the crease with 1 second left on a Pittsburgh power play.
Pittsburgh was 27th on the power play entering the game with a recent 0-for-17 drought. But the Penguins scored with the man advantage in consecutive games for the first time since late October.
Zucker gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead just 1:51 into the second period. At the end of the first, Binnington clipped Zucker in the face with his glove while he circled the net. However, Zucker chased Binnington from the game when he beat him with a wrist shot from the left circle for his sixth.
Tarasenko scored on a breakaway at 8:22 of the second to pull the Blues within two. However, Kapanen finished off his hat trick a little more than two minutes later on a backdoor feed from Rust for his fifth of the season.
Crosby scored his 13th, capping the scoring with an empty-netter with 4:48 left in the third.
Blues: At the New York Rangers on Monday night in the middle game of a three-game trip.
Penguins: Host Columbus on Tuesday night to close a five-game homestand.