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Matt Cooke scores twice to lead Crosby-less Penguins past Ducks 3-1

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PITTSBURGH - Matt Cooke scored twice in a 43-second span and the Sidney Crosby-less Pittsburgh Penguins handed the Anaheim Ducks their fourth loss in five games, 3-1 on Friday night.

Hal Gill also scored, and Evgeni Malkin had two assists for the Penguins, who had lost eight of their previous 10 and were without Crosby for the first time this season. Crosby was injured - apparently his left knee - late in a 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.

Ryan Getzlaf had the lone goal for Anaheim, which was playing the first of five consecutive games on the road, where it has won only two of its past 10.

Playing without nine regulars due to injury for most of the game - three players besides Crosby were knocked out of the game against Washington, and defenceman Brooks Orpik left during the second period Friday due to an undisclosed ailment - Pittsburgh dressed five players who had played in 11 NHL games or fewer this season before Friday.

Cooke, normally a third-line grinder, skated on the top line next to NHL scoring leader Malkin and posted the seventh two-goal game of his 10-year career.

Cooke scored his sixth of the season on a wraparound with 20.3 seconds to play in the first, Malkin giving Cooke the puck before he banked it off the far post from the left of Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Twenty-three seconds into the second, Cooke struck again off of passes from Ryan Whitney and Malkin.

The Ducks aren't without their own injury issues, down four regulars themselves - including star Teemu Selanne. Getzlaf scored on the power play 14:38 into the second off a rush into the zone by Scott Niedermayer and a pretty cross-slot set-up by rookie Bobby Ryan.

Defenceman Gill scored his first of the season - 30th of his 11-season career - with 4:55 to play when Jordan Staal won the faceoff back to him at the left point and his slap shot got through.

Crosby had missed 34 of the Penguins' previous 316 games - including playoffs - since he arrived as a rookie in 2005. Twenty-nine of those came last season when he had a high-ankle sprain, three the season before due to a groin injury and one during his rookie season (flu).

Notes: The Penguins had a 3-on-1 with an empty net in the final minute, but did not score because Malkin and Sykora were trying to set up Cooke for his first career hat trick. ... Malkin has a four-game points streak. ... Cooke's previous two-goal game was Jan. 5, 2007, in Edmonton. ... Getzlaf has an eight-game points streak.

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