Malkin earned his second career hat trick in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Pittsburgh's 4-3, series-clinching win against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference First Round at Nationwide Arena on Monday night. The 2009 Conn Smythe Trophy winner was criticized for his lack of production through the first five games of the series, which included a shot-less performance in a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 4.
"Another hat-trick performance from Malkin when you need it," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.
Malkin joined Mario Lemieux (3) and Sidney Crosby (2) as the players in franchise history to record multiple postseason hat tricks. Malkin's first playoff hat trick came in Game 2 of Pittsburgh's sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2009 Eastern Conference Final.