The Pittsburgh Penguins ended 2019 on a high note by defeating the Ottawa Senators 5-2 at PPG Paints Arena on Monday. The Penguins (24-11-4) closed out the calendar year by winning their third straight game and seventh in their past eight; the victory moved them past the New York Islanders into second place in the Metropolitan Division. It was their NHL-best 16th home win of the season.
Goalie Tristan Jarry made 24 saves to win his sixth straight start. He has a 1.80 goals-against average, .939 save percentage and one shutout during the run, the longest of his NHL career. Jarry is the sixth goalie in Penguins history age 24 or younger to have a winning streak of at least six games within a regular season (ages based at final game of streak). The others: Marc-Andre Fleury (three times), Matt Murray (three times), Greg Millen (twice), Patrick Lalime and Roberto Romano.
Evgeni Malkin scored the first of his two goals 27 seconds into the game and also had an assist; the center extended his point streak to nine games (16 points; five goals, 11 assists). The longest streak of his NHL career is 15 games, set from Oct. 23-Nov. 22, 2007, and matched from Jan. 16-March 4, 2010.
Malkin is averaging 1.46 points per game this season (38 points in 26 games), third-highest in the NHL. His best points-per-game average in a full season is 1.45 in 2011-12 (109 points; 50 goals, 59 assists in 75 games), when he won the Art Ross Trophy as the top scorer in the NHL and was voted winner of the Hart Trophy as League MVP and Ted Lindsay Award, given to the player judged as MVP by the NHL Players' Association.
Stars surging into Winter Classic
After a slow start, the Dallas Stars have been among the NHL's best teams during the past 10 weeks building up to facing the Nashville Predators in the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl Stadium on Wednesday (2 p.m. ET: NBC, SN, TVAS).
Dallas (22-14-4) began the season by going 1-7-1 in its first nine games, but the Stars are 21-7-3 since Oct. 19 and hold third place in the Central Division. Part of the reason for their rebound has been their ability to come from behind: Dallas leads the NHL with six victories when trailing after two periods.
The Predators (18-14-6) are three points out of a Stanley Cup Playoff berth, but they hold multiple games in hand on each team between them and a postseason spot from the Western Conference, where five points separate the third-place and 10th-place teams. Nashville has qualified for the playoffs for five consecutive seasons, tied with the Washington Capitals for the second-longest active streak behind Pittsburgh (13).