Penguins survive late Blackhawks surge for win


Going into the third period, it looked like things were actually going to be easy for the Pittsburgh Penguins. They entered the final frame with a 3-0 lead, but they needed every goal as the Chicago Blackhawks came scorching back into an entertaining contest. The Penguins managed to hang on 3-2 thanks to great work by Marc-Andre Fleury and a few bounces.

Evgeni Malkin was the biggest star of the game, though, as he’s been on fire since Sidney Crosby left Pittsburgh’s lineup again. Malkin has generated a ridiculous 15 points in a six-game scoring streak, including three gorgeous assists tonight. It’s looking like the talented Russian is over the knee issues that plagued him last season. In fact, that great game now has Malkin tied with Phil Kessel, Henrik Sedin and Claude Giroux for the NHL points lead with 39.

The Blackhawks showed that few leads are safe against them, although Joel Quenneville likely hopes to see a more “even” effort from the team. Patrick Sharp’s nine-game points streak came to an end, as well.

Overall, it was an entertaining match between two teams who very well could meet in far more important games in June 2012.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
1 Comment

Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
Leave a comment

Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?