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game recap

Evgeni Malkin powers Penguins past Jets

Pittsburgh center has Gordie Howe Hat Trick in win against Winnipeg

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Evgeni Malkin scored two goals and had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick and Nick Bonino scored three goals to help the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 7-4 win against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Wednesday.

Justin Schultz and Jake Guentzel also scored and Matt Murray made 31 saves for Pittsburgh (41-16-8), which has won three in a row. 

"He's an elite player," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Malkin, who had the game-winner. "He's a powerful guy and he's one of the few players in the League who can change the outcome of a game."


WATCH: All Penguins vs. Jets highlights


Shawn Matthias, Nikolaj Ehlers, Dustin Byfuglien and Marko Dano scored for Winnipeg (30-32-6). Connor Hellebuyck was pulled at 10:06 of the second period after allowing five goals on 15 shots. Michael Hutchinson made 15 saves in relief.  

The first period had five goals, two fights, 43 penalty minutes and an ejection.

Matthias scored at 4:18 to make it 1-0 after fights between Blake Wheeler and Malkin, and Chris Thorburn and Tom Sestito. Bonino scored 25 seconds later at 4:43 to tie it 1-1.

Ehlers made it 2-1 at 9:00, 42 seconds after Andrew Copp had a goal called back on a coach's challenge.

Malkin scored his 30th to tie it 2-2 at 11:56 on a breakaway. It's the fifth time Malkin has scored 30 goals in his NHL career.

Sestito, called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League earlier Wednesday, was ejected after an illegal check from behind on Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom at 13:10 of the first period. Enstrom left the game and did not return.

Video: PIT@WPG: Malkin holds off defender for second goal

"Toby is in the hospital now, he's getting checked for facial fractures," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Byfuglien made it 3-2 at 16:10.

"It's not the first period that we wanted, but it was pretty good after that," Murray said.

The Penguins scored three goals in 57 seconds during the second period. Schultz made it 3-3 at 9:09 on the power play. Bonino scored his second of the game 20 seconds later at 9:29, also on the power play, to make it 4-3. Malkin made it 5-3 at 10:06.

Bonino completed his second NHL hat trick and first since Feb. 2, 2013, against the Los Angeles Kings with a power-play goal at 18:21 of the second period to give the Penguins a 6-3 lead.

"It's been a while since the first [hat trick]," Bonino said. "The first one went in and you're always feeling a little bit better, and then it just seemed like the puck was finding the net for [us] tonight. I can't really explain it."

Guentzel scored at 16:02 of the third to make it 7-3.

Dano made it 7-4 with 1:15 remaining.

Video: PIT@WPG: Bonino records second career hat trick

Goal of the game

Malkin snuck his way behind the defense and Phil Kessel sent a long pass to create a breakaway for his first goal of the game.

Video: PIT@WPG: Malkin beats Hellebuyck on a breakaway


Save of the game

Thorburn made a drop pass to Copp for a one-timer from the left circle, but Murray kicked out his left pad to keep it a 3-2 game early in the second period.


Highlight of the game

Chad Ruhwedel worked the puck to Bonino in the middle of the left circle, where Bonino's wrist shot beat Hutchinson on his glove side for his third of the game.

Video: PIT@WPG: Bonino snaps home PPG to complete hat trick


Unsung performance of the game

Besides his goal, Schultz had three shots, two hits and two blocked shots in 21:10.

Video: PIT@WPG: Schultz rips a slapper top-shelf for PPG


They said it

"You always want momentum on these, playing some good playoff-caliber teams out west. They're a desperate team over here, and we were able to fight through an emotional first [period] and then get the win." -- Penguins forward Nick Bonino on a winning start to their five-game road trip


"I think we stopped playing the way we should be playing, the way we have been playing lately. Obviously they're a great team who can score. They're all-around really good, but I think we could have done more today." -- Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers


Need to know

Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist was a late scratch and returned to Pittsburgh after being diagnosed with a concussion. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he didn't know when Hornqvist sustained the injury, but didn't rule him out to return later on the road trip. ... Malkin has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in his past 11 games. ... Byfuglien has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his past nine games.


What's next

Penguins: At the Edmonton Oilers on Friday (9 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SNW, ROOT, NHL.TV)

Jets: Host the Calgary Flames on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN, NHL.TV)


Video: Bonino tallies second career hat trick in Pens' win

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