Evgeni Malkin returns to lift Pittsburgh Penguins to 14th straight victory

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin’s return Thursday night in Pittsburgh only bolstered his team’s winning ways. (AP)
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin’s return Thursday night in Pittsburgh only bolstered his team’s winning ways. (AP) –AP

Pascal Dupuis scored twice and Evgeni Malkin had a goal in his return to the lineup, leading the Penguins to a 4-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night in Pittsburgh for their 14th straight win.

Chris Kunitz had a goal and an assist and Sidney Crosby had two assists to push his league-best points total to 56 as the Penguins capped a giddy 24 hours to get within three victories of its own NHL record for consecutive wins. Malkin, back from an upper-body injury, got his first goal in three weeks.

Tomas Vokoun stopped 20 shots and even recorded his first assist while getting his 50th career shutout.


Al Montoya, making just his fourth start of the season, made 39 saves for Winnipeg but the Jets were no match for the NHL’s hottest team.

The league record for consecutive wins was set by the Mario Lemieux-led Penguins in 1992-93, and appears to be in serious jeopardy, though Lemieux — who now co-owns the franchise — hardly appears to mind.

Kings 4, Blues 2 — Mike Richards scored the go-ahead goal with 2:43 to play, Jonathan Quick made 20 saves, and Los Angeles continued its dominance of St. Louis with a win over the host.

The win gives the Kings only their second sweep of a season series against St. Louis after first doing it in 2005-06. Los Angeles has beaten the Blues eight straight times, including a sweep in last season’s Western Conference semifinals.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored both goals and Jaroslav Halak made 36 saves for the Blues, who have lost four of their last five.

Maple Leafs 6, Hurricanes 3 — Joffrey Lupul scored the go-ahead goal with 3:10 remaining, helping host Toronto defeat Carolina.

Lupul raced past Joe Corvo and beat Justin Peters for his seventh goal this season, shifting the puck from his backhand before scoring.

Jay McClement sealed it with his sixth of the season on an empty-netter with 45 seconds to go before Nikolai Kulemin added his sixth with three seconds left — also into an empty net.


Islanders 4, Flyers 3 — Colin McDonald had two goals, Josh Bailey tallied the clinching score in the shootout, and New York won again on the road, coming up with a victory over Philadelphia.

John Tavares also scored for New York, which won its fourth straight on the road while improving to 10-4-1 away from home this season to pull into a tie with the Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Scott Hartnell scored twice and Mike Knuble also tallied for the Flyers, who blew a two-goal lead while falling further out of the playoff picture.

Panthers 5, Sabres 4 — Mike Santorelli scored the winning goal in the shootout to lift Florida to a home win over Buffalo.

Jonathan Huberdeau also scored in the shootout for the Panthers and Jason Pominville scored for Buffalo.

Jacob Markstrom made 36 saves; Ryan Miller stopped 36 shots for Buffalo.

Huberdeau tied the score at 4 when he pushed the puck past Miller for a power-play goal with 6:09 left in the third.

Senators 3, Rangers 0 — Ben Bishop turned aside 24 shots to earn his second career shutout and host Ottawa beat New York.

Andre Benoit, Guillaume Latendresse, and Colin Greening scored for the Senators, and Mika Zibanejad and Chris Neil had two assists apiece.

Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves for the Rangers.

Coyotes 7, Predators 4 — Radim Vrbata had two goals and an assist and Rostislav Klesla added four assists and visiting Phoenix scored six times in the opening period to cruise by Nashville.

Martin Hanzal, David Moss, Matthew Lombardi, Keith Yandle, and Antoine Vermette also scored for the Coyotes, who snapped a seven-game losing streak — thanks to their big first period that included five goals in a span of 6:40.

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