Dec 20, 2011, 10:58 PM EDT
Going into the third period, it looked like things were actually going to be easy for the Pittsburgh Penguins. They entered the final frame with a 3-0 lead, but they needed every goal as the Chicago Blackhawks came scorching back into an entertaining contest. The Penguins managed to hang on 3-2 thanks to great work by Marc-Andre Fleury and a few bounces.
Evgeni Malkin was the biggest star of the game, though, as he’s been on fire since Sidney Crosby left Pittsburgh’s lineup again. Malkin has generated a ridiculous 15 points in a six-game scoring streak, including three gorgeous assists tonight. It’s looking like the talented Russian is over the knee issues that plagued him last season. In fact, that great game now has Malkin tied with Phil Kessel, Henrik Sedin and Claude Giroux for the NHL points lead with 39.
The Blackhawks showed that few leads are safe against them, although Joel Quenneville likely hopes to see a more “even” effort from the team. Patrick Sharp‘s nine-game points streak came to an end, as well.
Overall, it was an entertaining match between two teams who very well could meet in far more important games in June 2012.
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