— Evgeni Malkin had a goal and four assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped a two game losing streak, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 8-5 on Saturday afternoon at the Consol Energy Center.
In an offensive high paced game that saw both teams struggle defensively, Malkin the NHL’s leading scorer with 67 points, helped the Penguins come back from a 2-0 first period deficit, with three primary assists and a dazzling second period goal for his 30th of the season. It is Malkin’s fourth 30 goal season of his career and first since the 2008-2009 season.
Chris Kunitz had a goal and three assists and James Neal added a goal and an assist as the Penguins top line combined for 11 points in the game.
— Pittsburgh went 2-for-3 on the power play getting power play goals from Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang.
— Kris Letang had 2 goals and 1 assist for his first multi-goal game since February 6, 2009.
— After trailing 2-0 in the first period, the Penguins held leads of 3-2, 4-2, 4-3, 5-3, 5-4, 6-4, 7-4, 7-5 and 8-5. The Jets never went away as Pittsburgh scored four unanswered goals during a stretch in the first and second period where the Penguins looked well on their way of putting the game away. The Penguins though responded at every crucial time in the game when the Jets had or re-gained momentum.
The 8 goals for the Penguins tied a season high and the 13 goals combined is the highest scoring game the Penguins were involved in this season.
— Pittsburgh was very good with their wall play and a notable example of that was by Jordan Staal on Dustin Jeffrey’s first period goal at 12:11 of the first period. Jeffrey saw prominent minutes at right wing today, a spot he’s viewed at long-term if he wants to stick with the Penguins.
Goal Scorers for Penguins: Dustin Jeffrey (3), Chris Kunitz (15), James Neal (29), Richard Park (5), Evgeni Malkin (30), Kris Letang (6, 7) and Jordan Staal (16) | Multi-Points: Evgeni Malkin – 5 pts, Chris Kunitz – 4 pts, Kris Letang – 3 pts, Jordan Staal 2 pts, James Neal – 2 pts
Notes: Pittsburgh (31-19-5, 67 pts) moved to 5th in the Eastern Conference with the win. They trail first place New York by eight points….The Penguins outshot Winnipeg 39 to 25……Marc Andre Fleury notched his 29th win of the season and is on the verge of his fourth straight 30-win season….Pittsburgh was excellent in the faceoff circle. Joe Vitale led the way winning 13 of 19 draws and Evgeni Malkin won 12 of 22 draws….. Evgeni Malkin appeared in his 400th career game. He has 485 career points…..Richard Park scored his 100th career goal…..Arron Asham and Sidney Crosby both skated again today. Asham is expected to be cleared to practice this coming week….