Penguins knock off Panthers

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Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz (left) goes after a rebound in front of Florida goalie Jacob Markstrom in the third period of Friday night's game. The Penguins won 3-1.   GENE J. PUSKAR/ASSOCIATED PRESS
GENE J. PUSKAR/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz (left) goes after a rebound in front of Florida goalie Jacob Markstrom in the third period of Friday night's game. The Penguins won 3-1.

PITTSBURGH — Matt Niskanen and Dustin Jeffrey scored third-period goals to send the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Friday.

Panthers goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 37 saves in his first NHL start this season.

Niskanen took a pass from Kris Letang and scored on a one-timer from the left side at 7:49.

Jeffrey then scored his first goal since Feb. 18, 2012, when he redirected a shot from Matt Cooke at 15:15 to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead.

Chris Kunitz also scored for the Penguins and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves in his first start in five days.

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin left the game in the third period after he took an off-balance check from Erik Gudbranson while driving to the net and slid back-first into the end boards.

Malkin remained down on the ice for several moments, but skated off the ice on his own.

Florida defenseman Mike Weaver scored the Panthers’ goal. Florida was outshot 40-23. Markstrom was recalled from AHL San Antonio on Wednesday.

CANUCKS 1, PREDATORS 0

In Nashville, Tenn., Dale Weise broke a scoreless tie at 9:14 of the third period and Roberto Luongo made 23 saves for the shutout as Vancouver defeated Nashville.

The Canucks have won consecutive games on their four-game road trip after losing three in a row.

With the game still scoreless in the third period, Maxim Lapierre had the puck behind the Nashville goal line and carried it up to the right circle.

He then spun and sent a shot toward Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who kicked the puck away with his right pad. Weise was there to put away the rebound.


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