A night of firsts at Consol on Monday.
New Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan got his first win since taking over for Mike Johnston, rookie netminder Matt Murray got his first NHL win, David Warsofsky scored his first goal of the year and Phil Kessel had his first multi-goal performance on home ice as the Pens beat the Blue Jackets 5-2 — their first win after five straight losses.
“If you continue to believe and stay the course, the results start to come,” Sullivan said following the game, per the Penguins’ Twitter.
Pittsburgh certainly got results tonight.
Malkin matched Kessel with a pair of goals, and Murray — a standout with the club’s AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton — got his first big league victory in just his second-ever start. He and Jeff Zatkoff have been handling netminding duties with Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) out injured, and the 21-year-old Murray made 20 saves on Monday, with seven coming in the final frame.
As for Columbus, this pretty much sums it up:
Alex Wennberg and Boone Jenner scored the goals, but the Jackets could only muster 22 total shots to Pittsburgh’s 35. It was an especially quiet night from two of the club’s veteran leaders, as Brandon Dubinsky and Scott Hartnell both failed to puck a single puck on net.
Rookie netminder Joonas Korpisalo finished 30 saves on 34 shots for his third loss of the season.