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Carolina
Hurricanes
43-33-6
Pittsburgh
Penguins
47-27-8

28 SOG
29 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CAR
PIT
game recap

Penguins 4, Hurricanes 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Penguins 4, Hurricanes 1
Carolina Hurricanes 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 4

PITTSBURGH (AP) -The Pittsburgh Penguins are Sidney Crosby's team, and they have been almost since the day he was drafted in 2005. Right now they're Evgeni Malkin's team, and there isn't much of a dropoff in scoring or playmaking even with Crosby injured.

Malkin scored a goal and set up two others during Pittsburgh's offensive breakout in the third period, and the Penguins turned another strong game by goaltender Ty Conklin into a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Petr Sykora had a goal and an assist as Pittsburgh scored on four of its first nine shots in the third after goalie Cam Ward stopped 18 shots in the first two periods.

"We kind of saved the best for last," said Erik Christensen, who got the Penguins going by scoring from the low slot in the opening minute of the third. "Once we get that one, everyone wants more. We were certainly frustrated in the first two periods."

Malkin, surging offensively since Crosby injured his right ankle on Jan. 18, cut down the right wing boards and split between defensemen Bret Hedican and Tim Gleason to score his 28th goal and put the Penguins up 3-1 - their third goal in slightly more than nine minutes.

Nobody in their locker room is saying the Penguins don't miss Crosby, just as no one would have said they didn't miss Mario Lemieux during his many injury absences. Still, not many teams have a center as good as Malkin to lead their top line when their biggest star is out.

"There's a lot of good players on this team, a lot of guys are getting a lot more ice time, and those are the guys have been waiting for a chance," Sykora said.

Malkin has five goals and four assists in the six games since Crosby went down for six to eight weeks with a high ankle sprain. The Penguins, coming off a 4-1 loss Wednesday in Atlanta, are 3-2-1 without Crosby and still have not lost successive games in regulation since Dec. 11-13.

"After we got a goal, we all got fired up," Malkin said.

Erik Christensen and Ryan Malone also scored for Pittsburgh, which got yet another effective game from Conklin, who started the season in the minors. Conklin made 27 saves and didn't allow a goal after Sergei Samsonov scored his fourth at 8:27 of the first period.

"They just seemed to gain confidence as the game went on and our play seemed to slip as the game went on, and it was pretty evident in the third," Erik Cole said after Carolina's second loss in six games.

Since being called up following Marc-Andre Fleury's ankle injury on Dec. 6, Conklin is 12-3-1 in 16 starts and has led Pittsburgh back into contention in the Atlantic Division. The Penguins have 62 points, one fewer than division-leading Philadelphia, after being in last place in late November.

"The first period we didn't play that well at all and we got an earful," Christensen said, declining to detail coach Michel Therrien's message. "We felt like we were getting our chances and once you get that first one, the floodgates opened."

Christensen tied it with 37 seconds gone in the final period, taking Maxime Talbot's pass from along the goal line to beat Ward from in front for his eighth goal. Malone made it 2-1 less than seven minutes later with his 14th, a goal awarded after a video review.

With Pittsburgh on a power play, Sergei Gonchar's shot from the point deflected to Malkin, who missed on his rebound attempt before Malone shoved the puck toward the net. Replays showed the puck trickling across the goal line.

"I think when they scored the second goal, that's when the momentum shifted," Samsonov said. "For the most part for two periods, it was an even game."

Until the Malone goal, Carolina - despite being 30th in the league on the penalty kill - had allowed only one goal in 18 opponent power play chances over six games.

Sykora added a second power-play goal, his 16th, later in the period with Gonchar and Malkin getting assists.

Notes: Carolina didn't score on the power play for the second time in eight games. ... Penguins F Colby Armstrong returned after sitting out two games with a flu-like ailment. ... Despite the loss, Carolina is 10-4-2 in Pittsburgh since 1999. The Hurricanes lost a 4-3 shootout decision in Mellon Arena on Oct. 19. ... Cole fought with Penguins D Brooks Orpik less than five minutes into the game. Cole's neck was broken when Orpik ran him into the boards in Pittsburgh late in the 2005-06 season, and Cole didn't return until Game 6 of Carolina's seven-game Stanley Cup finals win over Edmonton.

scoring summary
1st Period
08:27
CAR
Sergei Samsonov (4) ASST: Andrew Ladd (4), Rod Brind'Amour (29)
1 - 0 CAR
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
00:37
PIT
Erik Christensen (8) ASST: Maxime Talbot (8), Jordan Staal (11)
1 - 1 Tie
07:26
PIT
PPG - Ryan Malone (14) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (32), Sergei Gonchar (34)
2 - 1 PIT
09:42
PIT
Evgeni Malkin (28) ASST: Petr Sykora (18), Brooks Orpik (7)
3 - 1 PIT
13:03
PIT
PPG - Petr Sykora (16) ASST: Sergei Gonchar (35), Evgeni Malkin (33)
4 - 1 PIT
penalty summary
1st Period
04:40
PIT
Brooks Orpik  Fighting (maj) against  Erik Cole
04:40
CAR
Erik Cole  Fighting (maj) against  Brooks Orpik
12:30
PIT
Jordan Staal  Holding the stick against  Chad LaRose
14:33
CAR
Trevor Letowski  Hi stick - double minor against  Maxime Talbot
2nd Period
08:35
PIT
Darryl Sydor  Delay of game
17:09
CAR
Wade Brookbank  Too many men/ice - bench
3rd Period
04:30
PIT
Maxime Talbot  Tripping against  Mike Commodore
06:23
CAR
Bret Hedican  Hooking against  Evgeni Malkin
09:50
PIT
Evgeni Malkin  Hooking against  Erik Cole
12:52
CAR
Mike Commodore  Hooking against  Ryan Malone
goalie stats
Cam Ward
SA: 29TOI: 59:44
Saves: 25EV: 19 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 8
SV%: .862SH: 0 - 0
Ty Conklin
Ty Conklin
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
Saves: 27EV: 20 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .964SH: 3 - 3