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(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

DeSmith blanks Canucks; Penguins finish perfect Canada trip

October 28, 2018 - 2:05 am

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Casey DeSmith stopped 29 shots for his second career shutout, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin had two goals apiece and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-0 on Saturday night.

DeSmith, a 27-year-old backup, got the nod over Matt Murray in the final game of Pittsburgh's four-game Canadian trip and helped his team complete a sweep. The Penguins also won at Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary.

DeSmith's previous shutout came on April 26 against Ottawa.

Phil Kessel also scored for Pittsburgh, which has just one loss in regulation this season.

Jacob Markstrom stopped 30 shots for Vancouver. He kept the Canucks in the game with several clutch saves, including in the first period when he sprawled to turn away a rocket from Malkin with his left skate.

The Penguins opened the scoring midway through the second period, following a patient move by Olli Maatta. The defenseman had been waiting for a chance at the point and fired off a shot that bounced off Markstrom's pads. Kessel sneaked around the back of the net and found the rebound, banging it in for his seventh of the year. The right winger leads the Penguins in goals.

Kessel was playing in his 255th consecutive game for Pittsburgh, surpassing Malkin for the franchise record.

Crosby scored later in the period, collecting the puck in front of the net and sending a backhanded shot past Markstrom.

Malkin scored the Penguins' third and fourth goals midway through the third period, just 59 seconds apart.

The center's first marker came off a saucer pass from Daniel Sprong that he quickly buried in the side of the net. Less than a minute later, Malkin again found the puck in front of the Vancouver goal and sliced it in past Markstrom. He now has 15 points — four goals and 11 assists — in his last seven games.

Crosby capped the scoring with just over two minutes left in the game, firing a slap shot in from the side of the net. The Penguins' captain now has five goals and three assists during a four-game scoring streak.

NOTES: Canucks right winger Brock Boeser and center Elias Pettersson returned from injuries. Boeser had missed two games with a groin injury, while Pettersson had been sidelined with a concussion since Oct. 13. Boeser has six points in 10 games, including Saturday, and Pettersson registered five goals and three assists in his first five NHL outings. Coach Travis Green had the pair skating together on a line with Nikolay Goldobin for much of the game. The trio combined for six shots.

UP NEXT

Penguins: Host the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Canucks: Continue their four-game homestand on Monday against Minnesota.