Center Evgeni Malkin
was playing so well the past few games that it was only a matter of time before he burst out with some points on the scoresheet.
Malkin scored three goals for his seventh career hat trick and chipped in two assists to tie a career high with five points to power the Pens to an 8-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at CONSOL Energy Center.
It was an offensive assault by the Pens, as 14 different players figured in with at least one point and seven recording multi-point games. More on Malkin and the offense here
It was a banner night for the Pens as several players hit career milestones.
(More on Fleury’s 200th win here).
“We haven’t handed out that many pucks after a game ever, since I’ve been here,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “Simon Despres
gets his first NHL goal. That celebration and that smile says a lot about what playing in the NHL is all about. And it all caps off ‘Flower’s’ 200th win.”
Despres, the Pens’ 2009 first-round draft pick, scored on a one-timer from the near circle on a power play. The puck slid under the pads of goaltender Ryan Miller.
“I just tried to get it on net as best I could,” Despres said. “I was fortunate it went in.
“I was pretty pumped to get a nice goal and not a bad one. I’m happy with that one.”
Sneep, Pittsburgh’s second-round pick in 2006, sent the puck around the boards from behind his own net. Forward James Neal
stick checked a Sabre to allow the puck to clear the zone.
Malkin found the puck in the Sabres zone and barreled to the net, lifting a backhander over Jhonas Enroth’s shoulder to give Sneep his first career point.
“It was a lot of fun getting to play your first game and getting a point in your first game,” Sneep said. “I had a great day. I had a blast and it’s fun to be a part of a win like that.”
Sneep was called up in the morning and drove 5-plus hours all the way from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the game in Pittsburgh. And he’ll always have the memory of that elongated pass for an assist to tell his kids.
“I wasn’t even looking for (Malkin),” he said. “I just threw it up the wall. (I’ll tell my kids) it was tape-to-tape saucer pass.”
Author: Sam Kasan