PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Penguins finished up a 12-game winning streak only last week, yet they might be a better team right now than they were then.
Evgeni Malkin is making them better.
Malkin is finally showing off the flashy game that was missing most of the season, with five goals in three games. Accompanying all these goals are the razzle dazzle that helped make him the NHL's leading scorer and playoffs MVP two seasons ago.
Malkin, admittedly slowed by a left knee injury, was almost a non-factor during the second-longest winning streak in Penguins history. He scored a goal in only six of their first 31 games.
Since Malkin took four games off to rest the knee, he again resembles the player who was once considered to be Crosby's near-equal.