ShareThis Page

Penguins' Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin show signs of heating up

| Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, 7:03 p.m.

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — Heading into Tuesday's game against the Rangers, Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin had combined for eight points this season.

However, the duo nearly doubled their scoring output by combining for seven points — including teaming up on the winning goal in overtime — in the Penguins' 5-4 victory.

“It's great for them. They are such a big part of our team,” said coach Mike Sullivan, whose team visits the Florida Panthers on Friday. “It's important that they produce offensively to help us win.”

Kessel scored his first even-strength goal of the season on a wicked snap shot that beat the Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in the game's opening minute.

Sidney Crosby said he is hopeful Kessel is on the verge of a scoring binge.

“Any player, especially a guy who can score like Phil, when you get one, usually the floodgates open,” Crosby said.

“So I'm sure he'll continue to shoot, and hopefully, they keep going in for him.”

Sullivan saw several positives from the Kessel-Malkin combination as they combined some of the ideas the coaching staff provided along with their natural skills.

“I thought in the Rangers game, they had a number of shifts where they had sustained zone time because they were stopping on pucks and doing the little things that help,” Sullivan said. “The last game is an indication of how talented they are.”

On the overtime goal, Kessel applied defensive pressure to cause a turnover near the Rangers net, then passed to Malkin.

“Both (Kessel) and Geno have been around the net a lot, and both had big games for us,” Crosby said. “You always get a little boost when you have a game like that.”

Steve Evans is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me