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game recap

Malkin has 4 points, Penguins score 5 straight to rally past Canucks

Zucker gets goal, assist for Pittsburgh; Vancouver has lost 5 of 6

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

Recap: PIT 5, VAN 4

Malkin scores two in Penguins win over Canucks, 5-4

Evgeni Malkin recorded two goals, Sidney Crosby, Jason Zucker and Rickard Rakell scored, leading the Penguins to a 5-4 win over the Canucks

  • 04:56 •

PITTSBURGH -- Evgeni Malkin had two goals and two assists, and the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied with five consecutive goals after trailing by three to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.

Malkin had four points for the first time since March 27, 2022, when he had three goals and one assist against the Detroit Red Wings.

"On the bench, we believed we could come back," Malkin said. "It's how we are as a team. It's a huge win. Guys support each other."

Jason Zucker had a goal and an assist, and Sidney Crosby scored for the Penguins (21-13-6), who have won two in a row following a six-game skid. Dustin Tokarski made 18 saves after Casey DeSmith allowed three goals on five shots in the first period.

Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes each had a goal and an assist, and Spencer Martin made 31 saves for the Canucks (17-20-3), who have lost five of six.

"We got the lead and any time you jump out to an early lead like that, you kind of relax a little bit," Vancouver coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Once they caught fire, they were pretty dangerous the rest of the [first] period."

Video: VAN@PIT: Malkin puts the Penguins on the board

Malkin cut it to 3-1 on a 5-on-3 power play at 8:57 of the first, firing a one-timer from the right face-off circle. Crosby then cut it to 3-2 at 14:25 when he redirected a shot from Brian Dumoulin.

Zucker tied it 3-3 at 16:30 with a wrist shot from the slot off a face-off win from Malkin.

Malkin gave Pittsburgh a 4-3 lead at 7:58 of the second period, tapping in a backhand pass from Zucker on a 4-on-4.

"I just think a lot of it, for me, starts with our leadership," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "Those guys, they were pretty vocal on the bench. I thought they played an inspired game. Even though we were down a few goals, we felt like we were carrying a lot of the play. 

"So, we just tried to stay with it. I think the character of our leadership steps up in those types of occasions. They did it again for us tonight."

Video: VAN@PIT: Malkin gets his 2nd of the night

Rickard Rakell extended the lead to 5-3 at 14:31 on the power play after collecting a rebound from Malkin for a wrist shot near the left post.

"I don't think it's mental," Canucks forward Conor Garland said. "They just have a lot of talent and made a push. We didn't handle it. … Try to have a good shift in their end, have to put a stop to it. We didn't, they just kept going."

Travis Dermott scored on a backhand to the right of the net at 12:52 of the third period for the 5-4 final. It was his first goal in six games this season.

Garland put the Canucks ahead 1-0 at 4:46 of the first, driving to the left face-off circle for a wrist shot.

Boeser made it 2-0 at 6:40 after scoring on a backhand from the slot.

"I've got to keep working," Boeser said. "I've got to keep pushing to play good hockey for our team and keep producing for our team. That's all that matters, I think."

Hughes extended it to 3-0 at 7:05 with a wrist shot, resulting in Tokarski replacing DeSmith.

"I was a little nervous, but good nervous," Tokarski said. "It's fun to get in a game and help out. … Going in, you just have to go in and play, and trust your instincts. A win's a win, the guys battled."

Video: VAN@PIT: Garland scores in 1st period

NOTES: Crosby's goal gave him 1,457 points (538 goals, 919 assists) in 1,148 games, tying Teemu Selanne (1,457 points in 1,451 games) for 17th in NHL history. … Tokarski played an NHL game for the first time since April 29, 2022, for the Buffalo Sabres. He was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Jan. 3 after goalie Tristan Jarry sustained a lower-body injury against the Boston Bruins in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park on Jan. 2. … The Canucks have allowed at least five goals in three of their past four games. They lost 7-4 to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday and 6-2 to the New York Islanders on Jan. 3.

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