PITTSBURGH (AP) — Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and the surging
Pittsburgh Penguins made quick work of the Los Angeles Kings.
Malkin and Crosby each had a goal and an assist to help the
Penguins beat the Kings 4-1 on Friday night.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves, and Tyler Kennedy and Bill
Guerin added goals for Pittsburgh. The Penguins, tied with
Philadelphia for fourth in the Eastern Conference, have won
three straight to improve to 12-1-3 under interim coach Dan
“There’s a confidence and a swagger to our team,” Bylsma said.
“We have every right to have that right now with our record over
the past 16 games.”
The Penguins have a chance to break their tie with Philadelphia
on Sunday, when they host the Flyers.
“It seems like everything is going good for us,” Fleury said.
“We’re having more fun. We’re happy, smiling, and the team is
Friday’s game was decided in the first period, when Malkin and
Crosby scored to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead.
Crosby opened the scoring with 7:27 left in the first period,
stealing a pass from Justin Williams in the right faceoff circle
and firing a backhander past goalie Jonathan Quick. Crosby
extended his points streak to 12 games with his 28th goal.
“Los Angeles is a team that works hard on the road,” Crosby
said. “It was important for us to get the lead. We did that and
Almost 5 minutes later, Malkin redirected a pass from Crosby and
scored a power-play goal to give the Penguins a two-goal
Malkin leads the NHL with 104 points on 33 goals and 71 assists.
Crosby, with 94 points, passed Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for
Kennedy and Guerin scored 2:23 apart in the second period to
give Pittsburgh a 4-0 lead.
Bylsma, a former Kings player who was coaching against Los
Angeles for the first time, was happy with his team’s aggressive
“This was a game where it didn’t matter if it was Los Angeles,
Boston, or Philadelphia,” he said. “We needed to focus on
playing the right way. It was good to see us come out and play
the right way.”
Michal Handzus scored, and Quick made 22 saves for Los Angeles,
which is 1-1 on a season-long six-game road trip. The Kings, who
entered the game in 13th place in the Western Conference, beat
Boston in overtime Thursday night.
“We battled and fought hard, but we just didn’t have it today,”
Handzus spoiled Fleury’s shutout with a 5-on-3, power-play goal,
his 17th of the season, with 12:33 left in the game.
“When you’re down 4-0, you have to keep working at your game,
and that is really important when you’re in that situation,” Los
Angeles coach Terry Murray said. “We’re a young club that has to
figure that out.”
Los Angeles finished 1-for-8 on the power play. The Penguins
have killed 39 of 42 penalties over their past nine games and
are 7-0-2 in that span.
“It’s disappointing to let that one up, but it is 5-on-3,”
Bylsma said. “For the rest of the game, our penalty kill was