Kes­sel, Le­tang score twice, Pens beat Isles


A re­newed com­mit­ment to de­fence has the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins back on track af­ter a bumpy Novem­ber.

The Pen­guins’ dy­namic of­fence ap­pears to have found its stride, too.

Kris Le­tang and Phil Kes­sel each scored twice, and the Pen­guins beat the New York Is­lan­ders 62 on Thurs­day night.

“Ob­vi­ously, this year hasn’t started off the best for us, but we’re right in it,” Kes­sel said. “There’s a lot of hockey to play and we just gotta keep im­prov­ing and get­ting bet­ter.”

Kes­sel, who also had two as­sists, tied Ed Ol­czyk, Scott Young and Brian Rol­ston for 10th all­time in ca­reer goals by an Amer­i­can-born player with 342. Le­tang’s two goals moved him in front of Larry Mur­phy for most multi­goal home games for a Pen­guins’ de­fence­man in fran­chise his­tory.

Sidney Crosby scored his 15th goal and had two as­sists. Crosby tied Jaromir Jagr for sec­ond­most home goals in fran­chise his­tory with 232. Ri­ley Shea­han scored his fourth goal for Pitts­burgh, which pulled into a third-place tie in the Metropoli­tan Divi­sion with the Is­lan­ders and New York Rangers. The Pen­guins have won two straight and five of eight fol­low­ing a slump in which they won once in 10 games.

Jake Guentzel had three as­sists and es­tab­lished a ca­reer-best six-game point streak for Pitts­burgh, which scored six or more goals in backto-back games for the sec­ond time this sea­son.

Casey DeSmith made 19 saves to win for the fifth time in six starts.

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