PITTSBURGH – Evgeni Malkin returned and woke up the Pittsburgh Penguins’ slumbering offence.
Playing for the first time in eight games following a shoulder injury, Malkin had three assists. Pascal Dupuis scored his second goal of the game 1:24 into overtime and Pittsburgh snapped its four-game losing streak with a 6-5 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.
“We were missing Geno,” Dupuis said. “He played great for us. Obviously, it was a big boost for us for him to come back. He played well. It looked like he didn’t miss a shift.”
Dupuis scored when goalie Tim Thomas mistakenly left a puck along the boards, miscommunicating with defenceman Dennis Wideman. Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal picked up the puck and fed it to Dupuis, who tucked in his 100th NHL goal and fifth this season.
“I don’t know what happened behind the net, but I ended up with the puck in the slot and basically just tapped it in,” Dupuis said. “One-hundredth goal of my career, game-winner, overtime, I’ll take it.”
The Penguins’ Bill Guerin sent the game to overtime when he scored with 0.4 seconds left in regulation off a feed from Malkin.
The Bruins, 2-0-3 in their past five, scored twice during the final 5:47 of regulation to take their only lead. David Krejci’s 5-on-3 goal tied it, and Marco Sturm put Boston ahead with 2:29 left.
Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists, and Jay McKee and Mark Eaton also scored for the Penguins, who netted only three goals during their skid. Pittsburgh scored once in the 209 minutes, nine seconds before Saturday’s game.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma put Malkin on a line with Crosby, something the Penguins rarely do. Pittsburgh responded by matching a season high for goals.
“I know we get the message when we’re together,” Crosby said. “We know we have to create things. It’s hard for them to key on one of us when we’re together. Geno did a great job.”
“I think after the last four games, this was a big moment for me and the team,” Malkin said.
The Bruins had scored 11 goals in their previous eight games and were shut out in their last two road games.
This game turned into a shootout, capped by a frantic final 13 minutes in regulation and overtime.
“We scored goals, yeah,” Boston defenceman Derek Morris said, “and we got a point, which was nice, but that’s not our system we’re going to play. We did things we don’t normally do and we did them all in one game. We’re lucky to get a point.”
Eaton gave the Penguins their fourth lead when he finished a setup from Crosby with 11 minutes left in regulation.
Krejci’s second of the season came after Crosby was penalized for tripping soon after a four-minute penalty was given to Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke for high-sticking Byron Ritz.
About a minute after Boston tied it, Crosby had a breakaway but Thomas lunged to stop his backhanded shot.
That allowed Sturm to deflect in Zdeno Chara’s shot from the point past goalie Brent Johnson for the apparent winner until Guerin beat the final horn with his slapshot.
Blake Wheeler, Michael Ryder and Morris also scored. Chara and former Penguins forward Mark Recchi had two assists for Boston, which had not scored a power-play goal in eight of its previous nine games.
Eaton’s goal was his second of the season and 22nd in 472 NHL games. Just 1:42 in, McKee scored the 21st goal of his 760-game career to end Thomas’ shutout streak at 174:16 and the Bruins’ shutout run of 128:36.
The teams then alternated goals over the next 55 minutes.
Playing his 100th career game, Wheeler tied it at one 6:47 later with his fifth of the season, but Dupuis gave the Penguins the lead back late in the first with his fourth.
Ryder tied it at two early in the second when he lifted a wrist shot over Johnson’s shoulder.
“I think we played a pretty good game and a couple of mistakes just cost us the extra point,” Ryder said. “We kept coming from behind all night and managed to get the lead there at the end. It was there for us, and when you’re that close and lose one like that it’s real frustrating.”
Crosby’s 10th of the season was a deflection of Alex Goligoski’s shot midway through the second period that briefly gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead.
But Morris scored when his shot from the point deflected off the stick of Penguins defenceman Deryk Engelland and past Johnson 15:02 into the second.
NOTES: The Penguins went 0-for-3 on the power play and are without a power-play goal in eight games (29 opportunities). The club record is nine, set in the team’s first season. … The Bruins have killed 34 of the past 35 power plays against. … Penguins D Ben Lovejoy had an assist on Dupuis’ first goal – his first NHL point. … Penguins C Mark Letestu made his NHL debut.