Keeping them on a line side-by-side continues to prove as the right choice and pay off for Pittsburgh as a team and for both of them as individual players.
Malkin went into last night’s game with a high of three 5-point games. He scored his 200th goal and increased the tally for 5-point games with his fourth last night (recording two goals and three assists).
Neal notched a hat trick while scoring all three goals before the end of the second period (one during a power play in the second). It was the second hat trick of his career and his first as a Pittsburgh Penguin. He is currently fourth in the league with goals (35) and tied for first with Philadelphia Flyers’ Scott Hartnell for power play goals (15).
Again, Mama and Papa Malkin, Vladimir and Natalia, were present at last night’s game to share in the celebration of Malkin’s stellar performance that lead him to more milestones and, perhaps, giving him that extra boost to play harder. Malkin is currently first in the league with 93 points, which is nine ahead of Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos (84) who is currently second.
OTHER PENGUIN NOTABLES:
- Brad Thiessen earned his third straight win (in all three starts in goal) for the Penguins.
- Jordan Staal kept his home-game point streak alive last night with 10 points in the last seven home games.
- Tyler Kennedy finally scored his first (and second) goal(s) in 17 games since January 13.
- After being pointless in Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Sidney Crosby earned four points, all assists, for a total of nine assists / points since his return on March 15; he is still without a goal, but that probably will not be for long.
- Five Penguin players have scored 20+ goals each for this season going into (and including) last night’s game: Pascal Dupuis (21 – a career-high), Chris Kunitz (21), Evgeni Malkin (43), James Neal (35 – also a career-high), and Jordan Staal (22).