Penguins extend winning streak to six

PITTSBURGH — Zybnek Michalek and Chris Kunitz scored three minutes apart in the first period, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 36 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 on Monday night for their sixth consecutive victory.


The Penguins extended the NHL’s longest current winning streak by holding off a late charge from the suddenly slumping Coyotes.

Ray Whitney scored 21st goal of the season, but Phoenix dropped its third in a row after going unbeaten in regulation in February to surge to the top of the Pacific Division.

Mike Smith recovered after a shaky start to finish with 26 saves, but the Coyotes couldn’t stop the Penguins from improving to 10-1 in their last 11 home games.

Phoenix outshot Pittsburgh 37-28 and tilted the ice on several occasions, but Fleury continued his brilliant play in winning his sixth consecutive start. He has stopped 163 of the last 168 shots he has faced. Fleury has 35 wins, one behind Nashville’s Pekka Rinne for the league lead.

Michalek, who spent five seasons with Phoenix before coming in Pittsburgh in 2010, scored his first goal since Oct. 17 with 8:16 left in the first period.

Kunitz scored his 19th goal 3:01 later.



In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Blake Wheeler scored the deciding goal on a breakaway in the third period and Bryan Little had three assists in Winnipeg’s win over Buffalo.

Andrew Ladd and Chris Thorburn also scored and Ondrej Pavelec made 23 saves for the Jets (32-27-8), who maintained their hold on eighth place in the Eastern Conference and stretched their over Washington to three points.

Corey Tropp scored for Buffalo and Ryan Miller stopped 28 shots. The Sabres (30-28-8) are tied for 10th place with Tampa Bay.



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