— Sports

Jarry, Guentzel lead Penguins past Bruins, 1 -0

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan wants his highly skilled team to find a comfort level in playing low-scoring, one-goal games as the Stanley Cup playoffs approach.

That message was received.

Tristan Jarry made 29 saves for his first shutout of the season, and Jake Guentzel scored in the Penguins’ 1-0 victory over the Boston Bruins on Sunday. “It was a hard-fought game, and there wasn’t a lot of space out there,” Sullivan said. “You had to fight for every inch on both sides, and from that standpoint, it had a playoff feel. We knew we were going to fight for every inch, and we wanted to force (Boston) to do the same.”

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Jarry has won his last four decisions, including a sloppy 7-6 home victory over New Jersey last week, in which he allowed six third-period goals. He rebounded against the Devils two nights later and earned a point in 11 of his previous 12 starts.

“It’s a short season, and you play a lot of games,” Jarry said. “It’s a matter of being prepared for the next game.”

Guentzel scored his 21st at 4:03 of the third period to help the Penguins win their fourth straight.

Bryan Rust and Brian Dumoulin made plays at the blueline and along the wall to keep the puck in the zone and get it to Sidney Crosby near the goal-line. Crosby set up Guentzel, who ripped a high slap shot past Jeremy Swayman’s glove from the left faceoff dot. “That was a goal scorer’s goal,” Sullivan said. “It was a great set up by (Crosby). Jake can do that for us.”

Pittsburgh has 14 wins and points in 16 of its last 19 games overall. The Penguins have 12 wins and end in 13 of their last 16 home games against Boston, dating to March 11, 2012.

Swayman stopped 28 shots for the Bruins. They lost their second straight following a season-long six-game win streak. The Bruins have nine wins in their last 14 games.

Swayman, the top college goaltender last season for Maine, has allowed more than two goals only once in his first seven NHL starts. In his past three appearances, Swayman has stopped 82 of 84 shots, including a shutout. Swayman is the fourth Boston goaltender the Penguins faced this season.

“Those are crucial points, and it was a tight game all around,” Swayman said. “It’s what we’re going to expect in a couple weeks. It was a fun game to be part of, but just disappointed that we didn’t come out with the two points.”

PLAYOFF PUSH

Pittsburgh and Boston are battling for two of the top four spots in a tightly contested East Division.

The Penguins, who are in sole possession of the first place, have a two-game series against the Washington Capitals after Tuesday’s home game against the Bruins. Pittsburgh’s next three games are against teams jockeying for top-four positioning in the standings.

“It’s two teams trying to fight for the playoffs just to get in,” Guentzel said. “These are two crucial points, and Tuesday is another big one for us. We have to make sure we’re ready.”

Two of Boston’s final nine games – including Tuesday at Pittsburgh – are against teams currently holding a playoff spot. Four of Boston’s last nine are against the New Jersey Devils or Buffalo Sabres, the two bottom teams in the East Division, while the other three are at home against the fifth-place New York Rangers.

TIGHT CHECKING

The Penguins and Bruins played a 0-0 game through two periods.

Both teams had 10 shots in the first period, but Pittsburgh outshot Boston, 11-8, in the second, as the Penguins started to gain control in the later stages of the period. Boston blocked 10 shots, while the Penguins had six blocks, and neither team went on the power play in the first two periods.

Guentzel and Rust nearly tucked a puck inside the post off the rush for Pittsburgh in the second, while Jarry denied a quality Craig Smith one-timer in the final minute of the period.

“Our work ethic was OK,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We didn’t manage the puck great early on, but we fixed that. Both teams had to work for every inch of ice out there.”

Molly Aronson

Molly Aronson is a 26-year-old government politician who enjoys bowling, running and jigsaw puzzles. She is creative and exciting, but can also be very greedy and a bit greedy.She is an australian Christian who defines herself as straight. She has a post-graduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics. She is allergic to grasshoppers.

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