The Pittsburgh Penguins (23-10-1, 47 pts) continued their winning ways with an impressive 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings (15-10-9, 39 pts) on Saturday night. Sidney Crosby scored twice, netting goals 17 and 18 on the season and Evgeni Malkin earned the games No. 1 star with a goal and two assists, collecting his 600th career point along the way.
Olli Maatta also scored in the win.
The Penguins got another strong performance from backup goaltender Jeff Zatkoff who made 28 saves on 29 shots to improve to 5-2-0 on the season and it was a special win for him playing in his hometown.
Special teams was the story of the game. The Penguins were 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and had to kill off a five minute major penalty (10 Minute Match Penalty for Deliberate injury) from Deryk Engelland with 30 seconds left in the first period that carried over into the second. Engelland was ejected from the game and is likely looking at a 2-3 game suspension for recklessness. Engelland has been suspended in the past.
Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby scored power play goals as the Penguins were 2-for-4 on the power play in just a huge special teams night.
Overall it was a gutsy win for the Penguins.
LATEST INJURY BUZZ ON MALKIN AND LETANG
Evgeni Malkin went down with a left leg injury after crashing into the boards but the injury might be one that ends up looking worse than it is. Malkin was seen walking around after the game and will be re-evaluated Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, I’m hearing there’s a little bit of concern that Kris Letang could end up sidelined with an apparent shoulder injury that would be weeks not days. Further evaluation is needed.
Letang missed tonight’s game due to an upper body injury that led to Brian Dumoulin making his NHL debut. Dumoulin played well and had 2 blocked shots in 18:10 of ice time.
With the Penguins playing with only five defensemen for final forty minutes of the game, Matt Niskanen ended up logging a team-high 29:26 of ice time.