The physicality (sometimes outright dirty play) seemed to really focus Malkin, who scored two goals and one assist – actually getting a “Gordie Howe hat trick” – as the Penguins beat the Jets 7-4.
Nick Bonino might have had the best night of all, generating a hat trick. It’s just the second of the underrated forward’s career:
The Jets actually carried a 3-2 lead into the second period, when Pittsburgh rattled off four goals, with three coming on the power play. It was a rough night for Connor Hellebuyck, who allowed five goals on 15 shots before giving way to Michael Hutchinson.
This win strengthens Pittsburgh’s grip on the third spot in the Metro, also putting them in a virtual tie with Columbus for second place (the Blue Jackets hold tiebreaker advantages).
The Jets, meanwhile, seem precious points slip away as they’ve dropped two straight games.
It was a nasty, entertaining one, but for Winnipeg the results were downright ugly.