|Evgeni Malkin gets first NHL hat trick to keep the Penguins from post-Winter Classic letdown|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 04 January 2008 02:44|
Days after the Penguins' 2-1 shootout win over Buffalo in the swirling snow of the Winter Classic, last season's rookie of the year had the first three-goal game of his young NHL career, and Pittburgh put away Toronto 6-2 Thursday night.
``He's been close a few times and he really loves to score goals and it's great to see him that happy and finally get that,'' Crosby said. ``To be able to get one, then another one, that puts a lot of pressure on a team.''
In other games Thursday night, it was: Columbus 4, Los Angeles 3; Calgary 3, San Jose 2 in overtime; Florida 4, the New York Islanders 3 in overtime; Vancouver 3, the New York Rangers 0; Boston 2, Washington 0; Nashville 5, Edmonton 2; Minnesota 6, Dallas 3; Montreal 6, Tampa Bay 3 and Phoenix 4, Chicago 2.
One day after the NHL's first regular-season outdoor game in the United States, Penguins players talked during a long practice Wednesday of not getting caught up in the emotion and the aura of the showcase game, watched by the largest crowd to attend an NHL game.
Thanks in part to Malkin, they've now won a season-best five in a row. It wasn't all Malkin's doing, however.
With the Penguins dragging a bit midway through the second period, Jarkko Ruutu sought out a fight with Darcy Tucker. The Penguins went on to score four goals in the next 9 1/2 minutes.
``The guys really responded to the fight,'' coach Michel Therrien said. ``That was a key point as far as we were concerned and it's a good sign when you see your teammates respond.''
Blue Jackets 4, Kings 3
Michael Peca scored twice in his return to visiting Columbus' lineup, including the go-ahead goal with 5:05 left.
Sergei Fedorov and rookie Joakim Lindstrom each had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, who at 19-16-6 are off to the best start in the franchise's seven-year history.
Brian Willsie, Dustin Brown and Patrick O'Sullivan scored for Los Angeles. The Kings have been held to three goals or fewer in 23 of their last 26 games.
Flames 3, Sharks 2, OT
In San Jose, Calif., Jarome Iginla scored two goals, including the winner in overtime.
Iginla scored 3:26 into the overtime when he charged into a crowd and pushed the puck through Sharks goalie Evengi Nabokov. It was Iginla's 31st goal of the season.
It was the Flames' fourth straight win and it snapped San Jose's four-game winning streak.
Panthers 4, Islanders 3, OT
In Uniondale, N.Y., Jassen Cullimore's goal 1:37 into overtime snapped Florida's three-game losing streak and Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro had some pad problems.
Cullimore ripped a slap shot from the left circle into the top right corner of the net for his first goal of the season.
In his first game back after missing the previous three with a sprained left knee, DiPietro came out for warmups and played the first period in clean, white leg pads. However, for the second and third periods, he switched back to his old orange, blue and white pads without an explanation.
A goalie's equipment must be inspected and approved by the NHL before it can be used in a game.
Canucks 3, Rangers 0
Roberto Luongo stopped 27 shots for his sixth shutout of the season and Vancouver extended its home unbeaten streak to 13 games. The Canucks have allowed just 11 goals at home since Nov. 9.
Ryan Kesler gave Vancouver its lead early in the second period on a goal that bounced in off the right foot of Rangers backup goalie Steve Valiquette.
Bruins 2, Capitals 0
Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots for his first shutout this season, Marc Savard broke a scoreless tie in the second period and host Boston ended Alex Ovechkin's seven-game point streak.
Ovechkin, second in the NHL with 30 goals, was held without a point for just the seventh time this season.
Predators 5, Oilers 2
Alexander Radulov scored two goals and Dan Ellis stopped a penalty shot for host Nashville.
J.P. Dumont, Jerred Smithson and Jason Arnott also scored for the Predators, who have beaten Edmonton six straight times.
Zack Stortini and Ethan Moreau connected for the Oilers, but Kyle Brodziak was thwarted by Ellis in the second period. Edmonton has lost seven of eight.
Wild 6, Stars 3
Marian Gaborik scored twice, Pierre-Marc Bouchard added a goal and two assists and Brent Burns had three assists for host Minnesota.
Pavol Demitra, Eric Belanger and Mark Parrish also scored for the Wild, and Niklas Backstrom stopped 25 shots for his 16th win.
Canadiens 6, Lightning 3
Michael Ryder had two goals and Montreal scored three times in the third period.
Alex Kovalev, Andrei Kostitsyn, Kyle Chipchura, and Chris Higgins also scored for the Canadiens, who returned from a 3-1-2 road trip and won for just the second time in nine games at the Bell Centre. Cristobal Huet finished with 30 saves.
Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Vaclav Prospal scored second-period goals as the Lightning came back to tie it at 3 after trailing 2-0 and 3-1.
Coyotes 4, Blackhawks 2
Mikael Tellqvist stopped 25 shots to help Phoenix win for just the seventh time in 18 home games.
Radim Vrbata tied a career high with his 18th goal of the season and Craig Weller, Martin Hanzal and Fredrik Sjostrom also scored for Phoenix.