Sullivan sets Penguins coaching wins record against Blackhawks

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PITTSBURGHDrew O’Connor scored his first NHL goal, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins win their home opener 5-2 against the Chicago Blackhawks at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday. 

The win was No. 253 for coach Mike Sullivan, passing Dan Bylsma for most in Penguins history. Sullivan is 253-131-44 in seven seasons with Pittsburgh.

O’Connor had a goal and an assist, Danton Heinen scored in a third straight game and Tristan Jarry made 18 saves for the Penguins, who began an eight-game homestand. They started their season on the road, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 on Tuesday and losing 5-4 in overtime to the Florida Panthers on Thursday. 

Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after allowing four goals on 10 shots in the first 11:25 period for the Blackhawks (0-2-1). Kevin Lankinen made 15 saves in relief. 

Fleury had not faced the Penguins, his former team, since Jan. 7, 2020, with the Vegas Golden Knights. 

Teddy Blueger scored on the first shot of the game, putting the Penguins ahead 1-0. He attempted a backhand pass to Zach Aston-Reese that went through Fleury’s five-hole 15 seconds into the first period. 

O’Connor made it 2-0 at 5:33 of the first. Fleury went behind the net before Dominik Simon forced an errant pass O’Connor intercepted and wrapped around the left post. 

Brock McGinn scored his first goal with Pittsburgh on a one-timer from the right face-off circle, extending it to 3-0 at 10:59, and Heinen shot through traffic from the slot to make it 4-0 at 11:25 of the first. 

Patrick Kane scored his first goal of the season, cutting it to 4-1. He sent a one-timer off Penguins defenseman Chad Ruhwedel on a power play at 5:00 of the second period. 

Jason Zucker sent a backhand off Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy‘s skate and in, pushing it to 5-1 at 17:55 of the second. 

Kirby Dach cut it to 5-2 on a wrist shot blocker side at 15:57 of the third period.
 

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