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Malkin tallies five points in Penguins' victory

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012
 

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin scored his 30th goal of the season and added four assists as the Penguins outlasted Winnipeg in a 8-5 shootout at Consol Energy on Saturday.

The Penguins fell behind 2-0 early in the first period but rebounded to score seven of the game's final 10 goals.

Malkin now leads the NHL with 67 points. He recorded primary assists on three goals before punctuating his performance with a breakaway goal in the second period. The five points ties his season and career high.

Defenseman Kris Letang scored two goals.

Also scoring goals for the Penguins were James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Richard Park, Dustin Jeffrey and Jordan Staal. This marked Staal's first game in more than a month after injuring tearing the MCL in his left knee.

This was Winnipeg's first game in Pittsburgh since the 1995-96 season.

The Penguins return to action on Sunday at 7 against Tampa Bay at Consol Energy Center.

Jeffrey produces at wing position

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Dustin Jeffrey has always appeared more comfortable playing center, but his ability to have long term success with the Penguins could depend on him thriving at wing.

When healthy, the trio of centers Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal simply won't be cracked.

In his first game playing at wing this season, Jeffrey produced.

With the Penguins down two in the first period, Jeffrey skated down the right wing and whipped a wrist shot past Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec.

It was Jeffrey's third goal of the season.

"I've played on and off for a while," Jeffrey said. "Because of the situation we have here, with centers here, you have to be versatile. I've practiced it the last couple of days. I felt comfortable."

• C Evgeni Malkin played in his 400 th career game on Saturday. He now has 485 career points, which gives him an average of 1.212 points per game for his career. That mark currently ranks 13 th in NHL history, slightly behind Phil Esposito (1.24) and just ahead of Guy LeFleur (1.202). The active NHL players with a higher points per average than Malkin are Sidney Crosby (1.39), Alex Ovechkin (1.249) and Jaromir Jagr (1.241).

• C Sidney Crosby and RW Arron Asham skated at Consol Energy Center before the Penguins faced Winnipeg. Crosby has been skating almost daily for the past four weeks, but his timetable for a possible return remains unknown.

• D Kris Letang scored two goals for only the third time in his career. The other two-goal games for Letang both came during the 2008-09 season.

• C Richard Park's goal in the third period marked the 100 th of his career.

• Coach Dan Bylsma would not commit to a starting goalie against Tampa Bay.

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