Crosby & Malkin Hit Milestones as Penguins Rake Leafs

The Pittsburgh Penguins took advantage of some retooled lines and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Saturday night.  The dynamic duo of Sidney Cosby and Evgeni Malkin were reunited on the top line along with Pascal Dupuis, enabling Sidney Crosby to shake off a bit of an early season funk.  Crosby had a 4-point night (1G, 3A), notching his 100th career goal, and surpassing 200 career assists and 300 career points.  With tonight’s performance, Crosby now has 302 points (100G, 202A) in 219 career games, or 1.38 points per game career average.  Evgeni Malkin also had a 4-point night (4A) and surpassed his 200th career point tonight.  The 4-point night gives Malkin 201 points (82G, 119A) in 166 career games.  Marc-Adre Fleury was very strong in net, stopping 26 of 27 shots for a 0.963 save percentage. 

In the 1st period, the Penguins got into penalty trouble starting with a double-minor high sticking call to Alex Goligoski.  The Penguins successfully killed off the 4-minute disadvantage, but then took another penalty 20-seconds later as Mark Eaton was called for hooking.  Then, just 7-seconds after successfully killing off the Eaton penalty, the Penguins were called for too many men.  This time, the Maple Leafs made them pay, as Nik Antropov beat Fleury on the powerplay at 14:25.  The Penguins had killed off 17-straight penalties before this goal.  But the Penguins answered back just 51-seconds later, as Pascal Dupuis collected a rebound from a Sidney Crosby shot and placed it in the Leafs net to tie the game 1-1.  Evgeni Malkin was credited with the other assist.  Despite the extended time spent on the penalty kill, the Penguins matched the Leafs in shots on goal at 12-per side.  The Penguins were 0-for-1 on the powerplay and 2-for-3 on the kill.

In the 2nd, the Penguins picked up the only goal of the period on a powerplay at 7:55.  Taking a pass from Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby skated along the right wing boards and then charged into the circle before threading a tremendous pass through traffic to the tape of Miroslav Satan, who deflected it into the net past Curtis Joseph.  The goal was Satan’s 3rd of the season, and Crosby’s 300th career point.  The Penguins went 1-for-1 on the powerplay and 1-for-1 on the kill in the period, and were outshot 9-8 by the Leafs. 

In the 3rd, Sidney Crosby finally notched his first goal of the season at 12:15 to make it 3-1.  Carrying the puck into the zone, Crosby eluded a diving poke check attempt by Curtis Joseph.  A Leafs defenseman managed to chip the puck away from Crosby to the boards behind the net.  But with Joseph still out of the net, Crosby quickly regained possession of the puck and threw a backhander toward the slot, hitting Toronto’s Mikhail Grabovski who ended up sliding into the net with the puck.  Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang picked up the assists on the play.  Then at 13:36, the Penguins powerplay converted again as Petr Sykora notched his 1st goal of the season on another beautiful pass by Sidney Crosby.  Evgeni Malkin picked up his league leading 8th assist on the play, as well as tying the league league in points (10) with Alexander Semin.  The Leafs had a late goal waived off as it was put into the net with a distinct kicking motion by Nik Antropov.  The Penguins ended the period going 1-for-2 on the powerplay, 2-for-2 on the kill, and were outshot 6-5. 

The game completed a 4-game homestand by the Penguins.  They hit the road for Boston, where they will take on the Bruins on Monday night.

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