Malkin’s OT tally pushes Penguins past Blackhawks

CHICAGO (Ticker) — In a game that saw a little bit of
everything, the NHL’s leading scorer found the net at just the
right time for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Evgeni Malkin scored on the power play 96 seconds into overtime
to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a wild 5-4 triumph over the
Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Kris Versteeg took a tripping penalty with 22 seconds left in
regulation to set the stage for Malkin. After blasting a shot
wide of the net, the All-Star one-timed a feed from defenseman
Sergei Gonchar past Antti Niemi for his 28th goal of the season.

“If we didn’t get the result we did, it would have been really
disappointing after we had two two-goal leads,” Pittsburgh coach
Dan Bylsma said. “There is a lot to dissect after this one, but
bottom line is we got two points.”

Jordan Staal and newcomer Chris Kunitz recorded a goal and an
assist and Miroslav Satan and Maxime Talbot also tallied for
Pittsburgh, which won despite missing captain Sidney Crosby for
a second straight game because of a groin injury.

Jonathan Toews recorded his first career hat trick with three
power-play tallies and set a career-high with 25 goals on the
season for the Blackhawks, who have lost three straight.

“Johnny had a special night tonight,” Chicago coach Joel
Quenneville said. “He has gotten better every game this year.
We love the trend on how he has taken charge, the puck was
follwing him around tonight.”

Pittsburgh took a 4-2 lead into the final period, a session that
saw Chicago hold a 20-4 advantage in shots on goal. After
having an earlier goal called off for a high stick, Toews scored
1:55 into the third to cut the deficit in half and complete the
hat trick.

The goal sparked fans, for the second time on the night, to
litter the ice with red construction helmets, which were handed
out to the first 10,000 fans as part of a promotions giveaway.

“At first I didn’t know what was going on,” Toews said. “But I
did get smoked with one going by our bench, that was cool.
Second time at least (the) things didn’t go to waste.”

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Dave Bolland knotted the score at 4-4 late in the third for
Chicago, which came back from a pair of two-goal deficits to
salvage a point.

A key stretch of the contest occurred in the second when Toews
had apparently put Chicago ahead for the first time, 3-2, when
he tipped a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury with 4:21 left in the
second, sending the first round of construction helmets onto the

But the replay showed Toews made contact with the puck above the
crossbar, wiping out the goal.

“At first I wasn’t sure, then I saw the replay and I knew it was
a good goal,” Toews said. “So it was very disapointing to have
it taken away.”

Pittsburgh would take advantage as Satan and Talbot scored 37
seconds apart before the end of the period to give Pittsburgh a
4-2 lead heading into the third and chase Cristobal Huet from
the game.

Huet gave up four goals on 22 shots in 40 minutes of action
while Niemi came on to stop five shots in the third period and

“I thought we played well most of the night, but it’s
disappointing not to get two points,” Quenneville said.
“Especially with how we controlled the play in the third period
and generated a lot of scoring opportunites. We did everything
tonight but win the game.”

Staal and Kunitz scored first-period goals to stake the Penguins
to a 2-0 lead. Kunitz saw his first action with Pittsburgh
since being acquired – along with fellow left wing Eric Tangradi
– from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Ryan Whitney
on Thursday.

Fleury made 41 saves for the Penguins, who opened a five-game
road swing in winning fashion.

“It was a game where the guys worked hard and we earned the two
points,” Fleury said. “We need them trying to get back into the
race. Chicago is a good team so this is a good win.”