It was a milestone night for Evgeni Malkin, but ultimately, it was a showing of how powerful this Pittsburgh Penguins team can really be.
The Pens pounded the Winnipeg Jets 8-4 in Sidney Crosby’s first game back in Pittsburgh as part of his second comeback. Crosby racked up four assists – all through the first two periods, but only managed to be the third star of the game because his other teammates were so impressive.
James Neal got the second one with a hat trick, but Geno’s 200 (and 201) goal celebration earned a first star thanks to his ridiculous five-point output.
Malkin’s five-point night gives him 93 on the season, with 43 goals. His Art Ross lead over Steven Stamkos and Claude Giroux grew to nine points.
Neal is making that $5 million-per-year extension seem perfectly fair as he now has 35 goals and 72 points on the season.
Crosby now has nine points (all assists) in his four games back and has two goals and 21 points in 12 contests in 2011-12.
This win bumps the Penguins up to 96 points with a blistering 12-0-1 run. Here are the highlights of the game:
With the Philadelphia Flyers dropping a 2-1 regulation loss to the Florida Panthers tonight, it looks like it’ll come down to the New York Rangers vs. Penguins for the Atlantic Division title – and the first seed in the East.
Here’s an updated view of that race:
Rangers: 97 points, 42 regulation/OT wins, 10 games left – five at home and on the road Penguins: 96 points, 36 regulation/OT wins, 10 games left – six at home and four on the road
The Penguins host the Rangers in Pittsburgh on April 5, the penultimate game of their season. You’re not crazy for thinking that the Atlantic Division might be decided in that game.
Then again, with the way Pittsburgh is playing, the Rangers might be lucky to hold them off until then.
Video: Devils honor Martin Brodeur, retire his No. 30
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.