Dupuis, Neal lead Pens past Wild

Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn.

Whether due to injuries or penalties, playing short-handed hasn’t deterred the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Man down? They just man up.

Pascal Dupuis had a short-handed goal and an assist, James Neal scored for the sixth time this season and the depleted Penguins beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Tuesday night.

“Ever since I got here through last year, it’s just the way the team runs,” Neal said. “Everyone knows what they have to do. Every guy does his job out there.”

Chris Kunitz and Jordan Staal also got goals and Matt Cooke had two assists for the Penguins, who were winless in their previous three games. They have already played eight times in the first 13 days of the season, improving to 4-2-2 without Sidney Crosby.

But the most impressive number is this: 20 for 20, their success rate on the penalty kill on the road. Overall, they are 26 for 27, after squelching five Wild power plays in this game.

“We’ve been fantastic all year. It’s a simple thing with communication between myself, the d-men and the forwards and trying to simplify everything as much as possible,” said backup goalie Brent Johnson, who made 24 saves.

The Penguins learned a few hours before faceoff they would be without defenseman Kris Letang, who received a two-game suspension from the NHL for a boarding penalty Monday at Winnipeg.