The Penguins had four days off before playing Phoenix Monday night. The Coyotes, meanwhile, were finishing up a four-game East Coast road trip in Pittsburgh. The situation seemed to play in Pittsburgh’s favor, but as head coach Dan Bylsma always says, it’s only an advantage if you make it an advantage.
The Penguins took full advantage of having fresh legs by attacking ferociously in the offensive zone. Pittsburgh’s offensive talent made the Coyotes pay for their mistakes and jumped out to a 5-0 lead just 28 minutes into the game en route to a 6-1 victory.
Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby provided the offensive fireworks. Malkin tied a career high with five points (2G-3A) and Crosby extended his career-long point streak to 21 games on one goal and two assists.
Pittsburgh’s special teams were key to the win as the power play netted three goals and the penalty kill went a perfect 8 for 8.
The Penguins got back on the winning track after dropping their last two games. The Penguins are 7-1 in their last eight games at CONSOL Energy Center, and now sit three points behind Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division lead.
Evgeni Malkin’s game was like the Greek mythical Phoenix (sorry, couldn’t resist), burning every goaltender in his wake.
Malkin tied his single-game career high with five points on two goals and three assists. He figured in on five of Pittsburgh’s six tallies in the contest.
Malkin scored his first goal of the contest by driving to the net following Sidney Crosby’s offensive zone faceoff win. Crosby pushed the puck ahead (a play known appropriately as the “Geno”) and slid it to Malkin in the slot. The Russian buried his shot with 35 seconds left in the first period.
Malkin tallied his second goal 51 seconds into the second period on the power play. Crosby picked up a turnover behind the Phoenix net and found Malkin streaking down the slot. Malkin went far side on goaltender Jason LaBarbera for the tally.
Malkin came inches shy of recording his seventh-career hat trick when he beat LaBarbera with a move, but just missed the open net.
Since returning to the lineup from a knee injury, Malkin has scored goals in three straight games, five overall. Malkin has eight points in that three game stretch. He has posted 21 points (10G-11A) in his past 16 games played.
The Penguins weathered the Coyotes’ early storm in the first period and held on for a 1-0 lead as the opening frame drew to a close. There was a faceoff in the Phoenix zone in the final minute.
Vernon Fiddler was tossed from the circle. Crosby pushed the puck forward on Lauri Korpikoski, retrieved it and then found Evgeni Malkin in the slot. Malkin ripped a one-timer far side past the outstretched glove of Jason LaBarbera with 35 seconds left.
The Penguins opened the second period with a power-play goal in just 51 seconds and never looked back.
(AP) - Evgeni Malkin tied a career high with five points, Sidney Crosby extended his scoring streak to 21 games with a goal and two assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Phoenix Coyotes 6-1 on Monday night.
Kris Letang had a goal and an assist and Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves for Pittsburgh, which won for the first time in three games since having a 12-game winning streak snapped.
Malkin, who had three goals in two games since returning from missing four contests due to a knee injury, had two goals and three assists Monday - all within the first 27:21 of the game.
Crosby's point streak is the longest in the NHL this season and one short of the longest since the 2004-05 lockout.
• The Penguins penalty kill unit did a great job in the final minutes of the second period. Back-to-back-to-back penalties on the Penguins left the team in a vulnerable position – not to mention that two of the team’s best PKers (Matt Cooke, Brooks Orpik) were in the box. Pittsburgh was forced to kill off four minutes of disadvantage, including two minutes down two men. The Penguins held down the fort and limited the Coyotes to only one scoring chance to escape unscathed.
• The Penguins PK unit went 8 for 8 on the game. With that mark, Pittsburgh has allowed only 17 power-play goals in 144 chances (88.2 percent) - the best mark in the NHL.
• Lost in all the offensive fireworks for Pittsburgh was the outstanding work between the steel by goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. He was clutch in the first period, turning aside all 16 Phoenix shots while the Penguins climbed to a 2-0 lead. Fleury made big saves on Shane Doan, Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata. Even when the Penguins were leading 5-0, Fleury maintained his focus and was able to stop 26 shots. He was only one unlucky bounce away from recording the shutout.
• Sidney Crosby notched a goal and two assists for three points against Phoenix. That stretched his career-long point streak to 21 games. Over his 21-game scoring spree, Crosby has 42 points (21G-21A).