The Penguins entered 2018 with a 19-18-3 record, but since then their core forward trio of Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin, and Sidney Crosby have taken charge. That was the case again last night as Pittsburgh earned a 7-4 victory over the rival Washington Capitals, led in large part by those three.
Malkin was the biggest factor of the three with his four points, including two goals. He’s recorded 10 points in his last three games alone. Meanwhile, Crosby is on an 11-game point streak after chipping in two helpers Friday night. Kessel scored two goals and registered an assist, bringing him up to eight points in his last four games.
If you look at the NHL scoring race since the start of 2018, you’d see that Malkin (23 points in 13 games), Crosby (23 points in 13 games), and Kessel (20 points in 13 games) now hold the top three spots in the league. Having three players of that caliber is an incredible luxury and its of course one of the big reasons why Pittsburgh is the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.
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PITTSBURGH 7 WASHINGTON 4
Though the Capitals lost by a sizeable margin, Alex Ovechkin did his best to keep Washington in this game by scoring two goals and registering an assist. He’s up to 32 goals and 56 points in 51 contests.
Evgeni Malkin led the charge for Pittsburgh with two goals and two assists. That gives him 28 goals and 59 points in 49 games.
Phil Kessel was another big contributor with two goals and an assist. The Penguins forward has 23 goals and 62 points in 53 contests.
Sidney Crosby registered two assists to extend his point streak to 11 games. He has 17 goals and 58 points in 53 games this season.
Matt Murray got the win, but he wasn’t exactly lights out with his four goals allowed over 33 shots. He has a 17-12-1 record, 2.93 GAA, and .905 save percentage in 33 games.
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DETROIT 4 CAROLINA 1
Petr Mrazek kicked out 36 of 37 shots last night. He has a 7-5-2 record, 2.74 GAA, and .914 save percentage in 18 contests.
Darren Helm scored a goal and registered two assists. He’s up to five goals and 16 points in 43 games.
Trevor Daley accounted for the game-winning goal. It was his fifth marker and ninth point in 45 contests in 2017-18.
Sebastian Aho scored the Hurricanes’ only goal. He has 18 goals and 39 points in 48 games.
Scott Darling stopped 34 of 38 Red Wings shots. This is his third straight loss and the third game where he surrendered at least three goals.
SAN JOSE 3 COLUMBUS 1
Martin Jones saved 28 of 29 shots on Friday. This is the second straight start where Jones has allowed just a single goal in regulation time, though he did lose Wednesday’s start in a shootout.
Kevin Labanc scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He has seven goals and 29 points in 46 contests.
Logan Couture also had a goal and an assist for San Jose. That gives him 22 markers and 39 points in 47 games.
Sergei Bobrovsky kicked out 25 of 28 shots to suffer his fifth loss in the span of six games. He’s slipped to 22-16-4 with a 2.46 GAA and .921 save percentage in 42 starts.
Boone Jenner scored Columbus’ lone goal. It was his fifth marker and 13th point in 44 games.
MINNESOTA 5 VEGAS 2
Eric Staal led the charge for Minnesota with two goals and an assist. That gives him 22 goals and 46 points this season.
Jonas Brodin assisted on three of the Wild’s five markers. He has five goals and 15 points in 51 games.
Former Wild forward Erik Haula scored a goal and registered an assist for Vegas. He has 20 goals and 39 points in 47 contests this season.
Malcolm Subban turned aside 31 of 35 Wild shots. He’s had a good season overall, but this is his fourth straight start where he’s surrendered at least three goals.
At the other end of the ice, Devan Dubnyk stopped 22 of 24 shots. He has a 20-10-3 record, 2.63 GAA, and .917 save percentage in 34 starts this season.