The Pittsburgh Penguins annual jaunt up the west coast didn’t start according to plan on Wednesday.
The Pens dropped a 5-3 decision to the Anaheim Ducks and had to quickly rest and recover for a date with the Los Angeles Kings 24 hours later.
The odds weren’t favoring them, but the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions pulled one out of their hats in a 3-1 win in the City of Angels on Thursday, handing the Kings their fifth straight loss.
DeSmith filled in admirably making 28 saves in his first NHL win, and he got some timely goal support, including two markers from Patric Hornqvist.
Hornqvist alleviated some of the first-start jitters on DeSmith as he opened the scoring 43 seconds into the first period.
The lead lasted until the 14:10 mark of the second period when Adrian Kempe made a slick deke on DeSmith to tie the game 1-1.
Evgeni Malkin broke the deadlock with another early period goal for the Penguins.
Pittsburgh went on the offensive off the opening faceoff, and after a point shot was blocked in front, Malkin grabbed the rebound in the slot and fired his 21st home on a wrist shot past Jonathan Quick.
Malkin finished the game with a goal and an assist.
Hornqvist added some insurance just after the midway point of the third, making it 3-1 on the power play with his second of the night.
Schultz had to leave the game and did not return.
Schultz said he was fine after the game and that he did not suffer a concussion on the play.