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Penguins 4, Rangers 1

Malkin hat trick sparks Penguins

Evgeni Malkin celebrates with Sergei Gonchar after one of Malkin's two first-period goals. Evgeni Malkin celebrates with Sergei Gonchar after one of Malkin's two first-period goals. (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)
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Associated Press / January 15, 2008

PITTSBURGH - Evgeni Malkin scored three goals for the second time in 11 games, and Ty Conklin stopped 43 shots to remain unbeaten in regulation as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Rangers, 4-1, last night.

Sidney Crosby had two assists and Sergei Gonchar also scored for the Penguins, who are 9-0-1 in their past 10 and have won six in a row at home. Conklin, who has started the past 10 games, improved to 10-0-1.

Jaromir Jagr scored his 13th goal for New York, which has lost six of seven and four in a row on the road.

Malkin, whose first NHL hat trick was Jan. 3 against Toronto (also at home), scored just 3:31 in. The Rangers inexplicably didn't cover him after he collected the puck in the right-wing corner and skated untouched toward the net before flipping a wrist shot over the stick side of Henrik Lundqvist.

"We gave them too much space tonight," Jagr said. "We've got to play them differently. They're too young, too quick."

Crosby assisted on that goal to give him a league-high 42. The two connected again 3 minutes later to make it 2-0, Malkin tapping in a rebound of a Crosby shot for his 22d goal.

Malkin had a few chances for the hat trick before scoring into an empty net with 24 seconds remaining.

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