HELSINKI, Finland – Sidney Crosby set up three goals to help the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 win over Finnish club Jokerit in a pre-season game Thursday.
Evgeni Malkin and Ruslan Fedotenko scored first-period goals for Pittsburgh and Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis added two more in the third. It was the Penguins’ last exhibition before playing the Ottawa Senators in a season-opening double header in Stockholm this weekend.
“This was not exactly what we are used to,” Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik said. “The rink was bigger, and it was not a physical game.”
Playing on the bigger international ice surface, the Penguins used their physical superiority on the boards to control play in the first period, taking the lead after nine minutes on Malkin’s shot from the blue-line on a power play.
Crosby got his first assist on that goal and then fed Fedotenko for a quick shot that made it 2-0.
Jokerit had its best chance on a short-handed breakaway by Tomi Maki, but Pittsburgh goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury easily turned his shot away.
Pittsburgh decreased its intensity in the second period and allowed Jokerit some chances but Fleury made a number of glove saves to keep a clean sheet before he was replaced by Dany Sabourin midway through the game.
Jokerit got on the board on a penalty shot 5:03 into the third period after Orpik upended Janne Lahti. Lahti took the shot, firing a high shot past Sabourin.
The Finns then came close to equalizing on another short-handed breakaway before Kennedy made it 3-1 at 12:00 and Dupuis added an empty-netter with 13 seconds left.
“We’re a young team, young kids coming on very fast,” Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. “It’s really important to be able to bring some offence that we lost” from last season.
The game drew a capacity crowd of 13,500. All tickets sold out in 27 minutes in April.