Rust salted the game away after Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck surrendered the puck to Penguins forward Sidney Crosby, who promptly set up Rust and the right-winger capitalized. Guentzel added an empty-net marker with 3.5 seconds left.
Hellebuyck stopped 29-of-31 shots for the Jets (10-5-1) before a sellout crowd of 15,325 fans at Canada Life Centre.
After a scoreless first two periods, Zucker opened the scoring 53 seconds into the third. The left-winger took a pass from Evgeni Malkin and beat Hellebuyck over his shoulder.
The Jets held a 23-22 shot advantage through the first 40 minutes as both goaltenders held down their respective forts. Hellebuyck made a solid save on Pittsburgh's Ryan Poehling in addition to some quick stops on screened shots.
Although the Jets outshot Pittsburgh 13-11 in the first, the Penguins held the edge with more threatening scoring opportunities in the early going.
Hellebuyck was forced to be sharp facing dangerous shots from Guentzel, Kris Letang, Malkin and Rickard Rakell. Hellebuyck also stopped Crosby on a partial breakaway after the star took the puck away from Morrissey.
The Jets announced that veteran forward Nikolaj Ehlers is scheduled for a hernia operation and will be out of action. Ehlers, who only played two games this year, is the third forward that Winnipeg has lost to injury this season. The others are Mason Appleton and Morgan Barron, both with wrist injuries … Jets defenceman Dylan DeMelo missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. Veteran Kyle Capobianco replaced him again. Defenceman Ville Heinola, who was recently recalled from the Manitoba Moose farm team, sat out for the second straight game. DeMelo is expected to return on Monday … Jets forward Kyle Connor played his 400th NHL game Saturday night … With four points against Minnesota on Thursday, Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby moved past Gordie Howe into 10th place on the NHL’s career list of players with three-points games (163) and is just one behind Jari Kurri … Crosby has also scored the first goal in four games thus far this season, which leads the NHL …
Jets: Will host the Carolina Hurricanes in the last of a three-game homestand on Monday.
Penguins: Will play the Blackhawks in Chicago on Sunday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2022.
Jim Bender, The Canadian Press