Penguins Top Senators Thanks to Evgeni Malkin Hat Trick

Penguins Top Senators Thanks to Evgeni Malkin Hat Trick PITTSBURGH — Evgeni Malkin had his fourth career hat
trick, Bill Guerin added two goals and two assists, and the Pittsburgh Penguins
headed into the holiday break tied atop the league standings after routing the
Ottawa Senators 8-1 Wednesday night.

Guerin and Chris Kunitz tied a club record with four
points apiece during Pittsburgh's five-goal second period, when Ruslan Fedotenko
also scored.

Sergei Gonchar added a goal and two assists and Sidney
Crosby
three assists for the Penguins (26-11-1), who tied a season high for
goals and matched New Jersey's 53 points in first place of the Atlantic
Division.

The game couldn't have gone worse for the Senators, who
lost captain Daniel Alfredsson early to injury on a night Ottawa welcomed back
three regulars to the lineup after extended absences. Goalie Pascal Leclaire
(fractured cheekbone, out 15 games), winger Chris Neil (left knee, 14 games) and
winger Shean Donovan (right knee, 17 games) all had been out for roughly a
month.

The Penguins' Craig Adams hit Alfredsson while his head
was down and he was battling for the puck with a Penguin in the left-wing
corner, causing Alfredsson's helmet to fly off and him to lay on the ice for a
short time. Adams was not penalized.

Anton Volchenkov and Chris Kelly scored for Ottawa, which
has lost four of six.

Playing in front of Russian Olympic team general manager
Vladislav Tretiak — the great former Soviet goalie — Malkin had his first
multiple-goal regular-season game since March 17 against Atlanta.

Malkin scored once in each period, the first and last off
nice setups by Crosby. He had only two goals in his previous 10 games and the
reigning NHL scoring champion was held off the score sheet in each of his past
two.

The Penguins, on a 9-2-1 run, entered the game with the
league's worst power play, but went 3-for-8 with an extra man, scoring three
power-play goals for the second time this season.

Guerin had two of them in the second period and assisted
on tallies by Malkin and Kunitz during that period.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray called league
director of officiating Terry Gregson on Tuesday to complain about calls going
against his team. Monday, the team did not have a power play during a game for
the third time this season.

Ottawa was given six opportunities Wednesday — not
converting any — but the Penguins still had more. Still, the Senators sent 46
shots at goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. It was the third time this season they had at
least that many shots, but they have only a combined four goals in those
contests and lost each.

Notes
Leclaire was pulled during the second
intermission after allowing six goals on 24 shots. … Ottawa had 24 shots
during the first period, one shy of the record for a visiting team against the
Penguins. … The previous high for most shots allowed by the Penguins under
coach Dan Bylsma was 45. … There were 22 previous occurrences of a Penguins
player having four points in a period.

TMZ logo

© 2018 NESN

Partner of USATODAY Sports Digital Properties