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Jason Zucker records two-point night, Coyotes beat Penguins 5-2

© Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Zucker buried a goal and had an assist as the Arizona Coyotes won 5-2 over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night inside Mullett Arena.

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Zucker, Nick Bjugstad, Juuso Välimäki, Alex Kerfoot and Lawson Crouse all scored for the Coyotes (23-19-3) who have won two-straight games.

Sidney Crosby and Lars Ellen both registered goals for the Penguins (21-17-6) while Tristan Jarry made 22 saves in the loss.

With the puck racing towards the boards, Pittsburgh native Logan Cooley whacked the puck with one hand on his stick right to Zucker. In the slot, Zucker, a former Penguin, fired the puck past Jarry for a 1-0 Coyotes lead 2:23 in.

“I’d say it does a little bit,” Zucker said about if there is any boost when playing a former team. “We’re all proud guys and we want to make a mark in this league in someway or another. When you move on from a team, whether it’s a trade or signing somewhere else, there is always a little bit there.”

Pittsburgh would tie the game 1-1 with chaos in the Coyotes crease. Eller fired a shot at Ingram before it trickled in the blue paint. Amongst a scrum around Arizona’s net, Eller found the puck and poked it over the goal line 4:50 into the second period.

In his first game back from being a healthy scratch for the past six, Juuso Välimäki sniped over Jarry’s blocker with 8:56 left in the middle frame.

Then by utilizing his silky touch on the ice, future Hall of Famer in Crosby chopped at a pass from Erik Karlsson, immediately redirecting it past Ingram and knotting up the game once more, 2-2 at 16:30 in the second period.

Answering 1:31 later, Jarry lost his footing and fell before Alex Kerfoot snuck a shot past the Penguins netminder, regaining the lead for the Coyotes 3-2.

On an impending power play, Jarry would skate to the Penguins’ bench for an extra attacker. Leaving an empty net, Kris Letang tried to retrieve the puck and pass it back to Evgeni Malkin. Bobbling it with his stick, Malkin ended up scoring on his own net, making it 4-2 Arizona. Crouse was credited with the marker.

Bjugstad added onto the ‘Yotes lead 5-2 after capitalizing on a breakaway 7:04 into the final 20 minutes.

“We played well,” Coyotes head coach André Tourigny said. “It’s always the same for me, it’s the way we play. Good team on the other side (Pittsburgh). They are tough to play against, they work hard in the defensive zone and have really good sticks. To create turnovers, it’s tough to defend against that team. Really good job by the boys.”

The Coyotes go 2-0 in their mini homestand, and Connor Ingram posted 25 saves on the night in Tempe.

Next Games

Coyotes: Away at Florida Panthers (28-14-4) on Jan. 24 at 5 p.m. MST

Penguins: Home vs. Florida Panthers (28-14-4) on Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. MST

Coyotes D Troy Stecher injured, will miss game vs. Penguins

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Alec Cipollini is a reporter of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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