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Guentzel’s scoring streaks are a shootout-era rarity

Since 2005-06, Guentzel is the sixth skater not named Crosby or Malkin to score in five straight games— and he’s the only one to do it twice.

Buffalo Sabres v Pittsburgh Penguins
Jake Guentzel scores against the visiting Sabres’ Dustin Tokarski on Nov. 16, 2021.
Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

In 2021, top-line Penguins winger Jake Guentzel scored the lone Penguins strike in a 6-1 loss to the host Capitals on Nov. 14, the sole Pittsburgh goal in a 2-1 loss to the visiting Sabres on Nov. 16, a late third-period strike in a 6-0 domination of the host Canadiens on Nov. 18, the deciding tally of a 2-0 shutout of the host Maple Leafs on Nov. 20 and the empty-net put-away goal of a 3-1 triumph over the host Jets on Nov. 22.

As a rookie in 2017, he tallied the opening goal of a 4-3 shootout win over the host Rangers on March 31, a first-period power-play strike in a 3-2 win over the visiting Hurricanes on April 2, an insurance marker in a 4-1 win against the visiting Blue Jackets on April 4, a first-period goal in a 7-4 win over the host Devils on April 6 and third-frame tally in a 5-3 loss to the host Maple Leafs on April 8.

That’s a lot of goals, but what do they all have in common? The answer is that each of them were scored by Guentzel during a pair of five-game goalscoring streaks.

Since the NHL introduced the shootout in 2005-06, only six players not named Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby have strung together five-game scoring streaks for the Penguins. After he scored five times in five contests from Nov. 14 to Nov. 22, 2021, Guentzel became the first player outside of the Penguins’ two-headed monster to accomplish the feat twice in the modern era.

Penguins goalscoring streaks (shootout era)

Player Start Date End date Games in streak Total goals
Player Start Date End date Games in streak Total goals
Sidney Crosby 11/14/05 11/25/05 5 6
Michel Ouellet 12/31/05 1/7/06 5 7
Evgeni Malkin 10/18/06 11/1/06 6 7
Sidney Crosby 12/5/06 12/15/06 6 6
Jordan Staal 2/3/07 2/10/07 5 7
Evgeni Malkin 2/9/08 2/17/08 5 6
Sidney Crosby 12/20/10 12/28/10 5 6
Evgeni Malkin 3/1/12 3/22/12 5 7
Chris Kunitz 2/26/13 3/7/13 5 7
James Neal 2/3/14 3/1/14 5 5
Sidney Crosby 1/21/16 2/8/16 7 10
Sidney Crosby 12/20/16 12/28/16 5 5
Jake Guentzel 3/31/17 4/8/17 5 5
Sidney Crosby 11/24/17 12/2/17 5 6
Evgeni Malkin 1/25/18 2/6/18 5 9
Sidney Crosby 3/21/18 3/29/18 5 5
Patric Hornqvist 3/29/18 4/6/18 5 5
Sidney Crosby 2/23/19 3/7/19 6 6
Jake Guentzel 11/14/21 11/22/21 5 5

It’s no surprise that Guentzel is a talented scorer. In 2018-19, he became the second non-Crosby/Malkin Penguin since James Neal (2011-12) to crack the 40-goal plateau.

Now, by marking the first major Penguins goalscoring streak since 2019— and the sixth in the modern shootout era by a skater not named Crosby (who notched eight five-plus game scoring streaks) or Malkin (who added four of his own)— Guentzel is continuing to establish himself as a legitimate goalscorer in his own right, and not as just a product of Crosby’s passing brilliance.

After all, just one of his five goals during this stretch included Crosby’s name among the assists.