Penguins star Malkin picks fine time for goal
MONTREAL — As predicted, Evgeni Malkin answered the Bell.
After going four games without a goal, Malkin scored early in the third period of the Penguins' 2-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series at Bell Centre.
Malkin lived up to his post-Game 2 prediction in the process.
After the 3-1 loss Sunday at Mellon Arena, the Penguins center addressed his goal-scoring drought with a casual confidence.
"I know I'm not scoring," Malkin said. "People are a little bit, maybe, mad. It's OK. It's not bad. We'll go to Montreal, and I think we'll win the next game, and my game will be better (by) 100 percent."
Then he answered his critics.
The Penguins drew a power play when Montreal defenseman Hal Gill was called for holding with 11.7 seconds remaining in the second period. But Malkin missed a point-blank shot from the slot with 2.6 seconds left.
The Penguins started the third frame with a man-advantage, and Malkin fired a one-timer from the right point off a perfect feed from Sergei Gonchar at 1:16 of the third for a 1-0 lead in a game defined by its tight play.
It was Malkin's fifth goal of the postseason — his fourth on a power play, where he has become a dangerous triggerman from the point. He had only managed four shots in the series entering Game 3, however, as the Canadiens clogged the shooting lanes and blocked shots with frequency.
Given Malkin's playoff history, it should come as no surprise.
A year ago, he had gone five games without a goal when he delivered the first dagger in Game 3 of a second-round series against the Washington Capitals. The Penguins went on to win the series, then the Stanley Cup championship, as Malkin scored 14 goals and 36 points to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.
Malkin's timing couldn't have been better, considering that Penguins captain Sidney Crosby hasn't scored a goal in the series and has gone eight consecutive games without scoring a goal at Bell Centre, dating to the second game here in his rookie season in 2006.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Spaling, Penguins agree to $4.4 million deal
- New Penguins coach to meet with Malkin
- Hollidaysburg native Lafferty relishing his chance with Penguins
- Q&A: New coach Johnston feeling at home with Penguins
- Penguins assistant Martin gets new job title