DeSmith stops 33 shots in Penguins’ 1-0 win over Ducks

Dec 11, 2021, 5:06 AM | Updated: 9:05 pm
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith (1) covers the puck as Brian Boyle (11) checks Anaheim...

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith (1) covers the puck as Brian Boyle (11) checks Anaheim Ducks' Rickard Rakell (67) into the goal cage during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021. The Penguins won 1-0. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Goaltender Casey DeSmith found his confidence and it helped the red-hot Pittsburgh Penguins to another win on Saturday night.

DeSmith stopped all 33 shots he faced, and Brock McGinn gave the Pittsburgh Penguins the only goal they needed for a 1-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

“The more I get in net, the more comfortable I become,” DeSmith said. “I’ve been getting back to playing my game, being on my toes, a little more athletic and not playing the stiff and boring game that I played before.”

It was DeSmith’s seventh career shutout and first of the season, and his second straight win in his sixth appearance. DeSmith played four times in the team’s first 24 games and didn’t record a win. But in his last two, he has stopped 61 of 62 shots.

“I just think his overall mindset … he’s in a better headspace,” Penguins’ coach Mike Sullivan said. “We felt like he’s been trending the right way. We know he’s a capable guy and I thought he was terrific tonight.”

McGinn scored his seventh of the season on Pittsburgh’s first shot of the game, 5:12 into the first period. He beat Ducks goalie John Gibson with a one-timer from the right faceoff dot off the rush, set up by Zach Aston-Reese with a backhand pass to the blueline.

Sidney Crosby’s seven-game point streak ended, but Pittsburgh won its fourth straight game and ninth in 12 games.

“Anaheim is a real good team,” Sullivan said. “They won a lot of games in the last month. We knew it would be a tough challenge. They pushed down the stretch and I thought our guys competed hard.”

Ducks’ captain Ryan Getzlaf returned from injury and nearly tied the game in the final seconds, but DeSmith denied a point shot with his left pad. It ended Anaheim’s six-game point streak.

“I thought we had chances to win it,” Ducks’ coach Dallas Eakins said. “We came up short. Those sting. We take no gratification in playing well and losing by a goal.”

Gibson stopped 15 of 16 shots through two periods for Anaheim before he left with a lower-body injury. Anthony Stolarz started the third period and made 13 saves. Eakins classified Gibson as day-to-day.

SOLID DEFENSE

Pittsburgh has allowed four goals in its last four games, and 18 goals in a 12-game span. The Penguins have nine wins during that stretch, which began with a 6-0 victory at Montreal on Nov. 18.

“Defense for me boils down to commitment and attention to detail,” Sullivan said. “Our guys have been committed to play defense. They want to win and they understand that if we want to win consistently, we can’t rely on scoring goals. We have to keep it out of our net.”

GETZLAF RETURNS

Getzlaf played for the first time since a Nov. 30 injury against Los Angeles. While he was considered week-to-week with a lower-body injury, he only missed five games. Getzlaf had three shots and won seven of 14 faceoffs in 21:25. The Ducks went 3-0-2 without Getzlaf, who recorded his 1,000th career point last month.

“I felt OK,” Getzlaf said. “There were certain situations where I was a little bit behind, I think. But overall, pretty good.”

PENALTY KILLERS

The Penguins and Ducks have penalty-killing units ranked among the top three in the league.

No. 1 Pittsburgh has killed 30 consecutive penalties in 13 games, which continues a franchise record.

Anaheim, which ranks third, has killed eight penalties since Dec. 3, and 41 of the last 46 power plays since Oct. 29.

UP NEXT

Ducks: Close a five-game trip at St. Louis on Sunday.

Penguins: Continue a three-game homestand Tuesday against Montreal.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives against Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (...
Associated Press

AP source: Celtics agree to terms with big man Blake Griffin

BOSTON (AP) — Veteran big man Blake Griffin has agreed to a contract with the Boston Celtics, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Friday. The person confirmed the move to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. It was first reported by ESPN. […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Morocco fumes over Adidas design of Algerian soccer jersey

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — The Moroccan government called on sports apparel company Adidas to pull off the market its new jersey collection for Algeria’s national soccer team, alleging that the featured mosaic pattern amounted to “cultural appropriation” of Moroccan heritage. Morocco’s Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication said in a statement that the design on […]
2 days ago
FILE - Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett stands on the field during an NFL preseason foo...
Associated Press

Browns’ Garrett: Crash a ‘wake-up’ call, grateful to survive

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Myles Garrett knows he’s lucky. His life could be very different or even over. Speaking for the first time since losing control and flipping his Porsche after practice on Monday, the Browns’ star defensive end expressed relief that he survived the crash he caused by driving too fast. “Definitely grateful to […]
2 days ago
FILE - Texas players sing "The Eyes Of Texas," after defeating Kansas State 22-17 in an NCAA colleg...
Associated Press

College athletics sees surge in nonprofits paying players

The new world of college athletes getting paid for endorsements has created a rapidly expanding pop-up industry: Brand new nonprofits that set up athletes to promote charities for a fee. The nonprofits are pitched as feel-good partnerships, but they also raises questions. Is their mission to support charities and their communities or do they exist […]
2 days ago
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a ceremony to sign the treaties for four regions o...
Associated Press

IOC’s Bach eyes return to sports for anti-war Russians

GENEVA (AP) — Russian athletes who do not endorse their country’s war in Ukraine could be accepted back into international sports, IOC president Thomas Bach said in an interview published Friday. “It’s about having athletes with a Russian passport who do not support the war back in competition,” Bach told Italian daily Corriere della Sera, […]
2 days ago
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins passes the ball during a practice session in Thundridge,...
Associated Press

Winston doubtful, Dalton ready for Saints against Vikings

LONDON (AP) — Saints backup quarterback Andy Dalton is preparing to square off with Kirk Cousins again in London. Dalton is expected to start after Jameis Winston was listed as doubtful for New Orleans’ game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Dalton took first-team snaps again Friday with Winston missing a third […]
2 days ago
DeSmith stops 33 shots in Penguins’ 1-0 win over Ducks