Evgeni Malkin

Get your game notes: Penguins at Rangers

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the New York Rangers hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• The Penguins’ top line of LW Chris Kunitz (15) – C Sidney Crosby (23) – RW Pascal Dupuis (11) has combined for 18 goals and 49 points this season. To compare, the 18 forwards who have suited up for the Rangers this season have a combined 21 goals and 60 points.

• The Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin has gone eight consecutive games without a goal, his longest in-season drought since the 2009-10 season, when he went 11 straight (Dec. 27, 2009-Jan. 14, 2010).

• The Rangers have held their opponents to two or fewer goals in each of their last seven games, their longest stretch since an eight-game run from Dec. 31, 2009-Jan. 14, 2010. Meanwhile, the Penguins have scored three or more goals 13 times in 15 games (11-2-0), the most of any team in the NHL.

• The Penguins’ Marc-Andre Fleury (10-2-0 record, 1.83 GAA, .929 save%) became the first NHL goaltender to 10 wins this season on Nov. 1, and was honored as the NHL’s 2nd Star of the Week on Monday. Fleury’s hot start matches the best of his career. In 2009-10, he also started 10-2-0, picking up his tenth win on Nov. 3, 2009.

• The Penguins have killed only 16 of 23 power-play opportunities (69.6%) on the road this season, the 3rd-worst road PK percentage in the NHL. The Pens’ overall PK (81.0%) ranks 19th in the league. The last time they finished outside of the top-10 in an 82-game season was 2007-08 (81.0%, 23rd).

• Since the 2005-06 season, Sidney Crosby has the most points in the NHL in November. (Elias Sports Bureau)
1. Crosby (PIT) 126
2. Martin St. Louis (TBL) 110
3. Alex Ovechkin (WSH) 105
4. Ilya Kovalchuk (ATL/NJD) 104
5. Dany Heatley (OTT/SJS/MIN) 103

• Through Nov. 5, Metropolitan Division teams have compiled only 41 total wins in regulation or overtime (ROW), the fewest among the four NHL divisions:

Pacific (7 teams) – 51 ROW (110 games)
Central (7 teams) – 50 ROW (102 games)
Atlantic (8 teams) – 49 ROW (122 games)
Metropolitan (8 teams) – 41 ROW (116 games)

PHT Morning Skate: Shane Doan takes a (friendly) shot at the Miracle on Ice

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Shane Doan took a friendly jab at the the movie “Miracle” and the Miracle on Ice. (BarDown)

–The best of the worst Upper Deck hockey cards from 2015-16. (Puck Junk)

–Here’s a list of the top 50 players in WHL history. (WHL)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A sad story about how Chris Phillips feels helpless as his hometown of Fort McMurray burns. (CBC)

–“You want to get back into things right away (but) I think these last four or five months have been good for me.” Former Penguins coach Mike Johnston is ready to coach again. (Local XPress)

–Blues forward Jori Lehtera is in a pretty random commercial:

Penguins push Capitals to brink of elimination with OT win

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The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.

Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.

With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.

It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.

Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.

The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?

Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:

If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.

Sidney Crosby looks hurt (and furious) after Alex Ovechkin slash

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NBCSN screen
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Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.

An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.

After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.

You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.

Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.

Dirty or not? Evgeni Malkin’s hit on Daniel Winnik

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Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.

Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.

Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.

Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.