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Crosby, Malkin help Penguins rally past Red Wings

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored 34 seconds apart in the third period to break a tie and help the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-2 come-from-behind win against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday.

The Penguins trailed 2-0 early in the second period.

“The way we responded in the second and third period was exciting because it proves that we can play the right way,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said.

Malkin had two assists, Kris Letang had two goals and an assist, and Patric Hornqvist had a goal and two assists for the Penguins (18-15-4), who scored the last five goals. Jeff Zatkoff made 33 saves.

“Our first period wasn't very good,” Hornqvist said. “The second and third periods we really got it together and everybody chipped in.”

Justin Abdelkader and Brendan Smith scored for the Red Wings (18-13-7), who lost their third consecutive game in regulation. Petr Mrazek made 32 saves.

“When we’re up 2-0 we need, I don’t want to say a killer instinct, but we really need to start taking the game over,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We didn’t do a good enough job of that.”

Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead 7:48 into the third period with a wrist shot, while on his knees, from the inside edge of the right circle. It was Crosby's ninth goal.

Malkin made it 4-2 at 8:22 on a wrist shot from the inside edge of the right circle. It was his 18th goal.

Letang scored his second of the game, third of the season, into an empty net with 1:40 left.

“We were really going after it in the third, and when you're playing on your toes, you find more energy,” Crosby said.

The Penguins lost 3-2 in a shootout against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

“We've been on the other side of these a couple of times,” Crosby said. “… So to bounce back and get some points to end the year is great.”

The Penguins scored two power-play goals in the second period to tie the game 2-2.

Hornqvist made it 2-1 at 45 seconds when he put in a shot from the crease area for his seventh goal. Blashill challenged, claiming Hornqvist interfered with Mrazek, but the goal was upheld after review.

“I think I had it in my hand, and the guy in front of me (Hornqvist) just pushed me with his hand, hit my blocker and the puck went in,” Mrazek said.

Letang tied the game 2-2 with 8:16 left in the period. He scored from the bottom of the right circle after faking a shot and making a move as he skated deeper into the circle.

“When he is in our lineup and he plays the way that he did tonight, it shows the kind of impact he can have on our team,” Sullivan said.

Letang has sustained various injuries this season, limiting him to 28 games. He played in consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 28 and Dec. 1.

Abdelkader gave Detroit a 1-0 lead 6:47 into the first period when he put a loose puck into the open side of the net from the bottom of the left circle. It was his 12th goal.

Smith made it 2-0 with 7:45 left in the first. His shot from the bottom of the left circle, off a rebound, found its way through Zatkoff for Smith's third goal.

"Their power play got them back in the game and our power play (0-for-3) didn't get us back in it,” Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “We had our chances on the power play but we couldn't really get any goals going."

Red Wings right wing Tomas Jurco left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury. Blashill didn't provide an update after the game.

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