Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin hopes 2-goal game provides spark
Having gone 7-9-1 since an eight-game winning streak ended Jan. 6, the Pittsburgh Penguins are locked in a fight for their playoff lives.
To merely qualify for the postseason, never mind contend for a championship, they’re going to need to get something going — and soon.
They’re hoping that spark might come from the ashes of a 5-4 home loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday afternoon.
Evgeni Malkin, making his return to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for a stick-swinging incident Monday in Philadelphia, scored a pair of power-play goals in the third period to get the Penguins back in the game.
Malkin had scored three goals in his previous 18 games.
“A long time, I’m not score,” Malkin said. “Hopefully these two goals give me confidence, and tomorrow I will feel so much better for sure. Glad to be back and be with the team. A little bit frustrated second period. I lose a couple pucks. But it’s fine. I do my best. I hope tomorrow we win.”
Malkin scored the first goal on a shot from the left wing off the rush. He scored the second on his trademark one-timer from the top of the right circle.
In an odd streak that spans almost a month, broken up by the one-game suspension and a five-game absence due to a neck injury, Malkin has recorded points in six straight games.
“I thought he had some great moments,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “Geno tends to be a guy, he gets a lot of confidence even if he doesn’t score and he’s getting scoring chances and he’s putting pucks on the net.”
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .