MALKIN'S GOAL GIVES PENGUINS A 5-4 SHOOTOUT WIN OVER CHICAGO
And, once again, they did it in dramatic fashion.
Evgeni Malkin's goal in the overtime shootout gave the Penguins a 5-4 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks at Mellon Arena.
"We fought back and it's a good win for us," Malkin said through translator George Birman.
It was the fourth win in a row for the Penguins (30-17-9) who have picked up a point in their last 14-straight games. They have not lost a game in regulation since Jan. 10.
"Everyone is contributing and that's the way it has to be if we're going to win," Sidney Crosby said. "Whether it's a big save or a big hit or a big goal or a big penalty kill - we're finding ways."
Craig McDonald got the Blackhawks on the scoreboard 8:29 into the game with short-handed goal.
Ronald Petrovicky responded for the Penguins 2:03 later when he found the back of the net. Dominic Moore and Jarkko Ruutu assisted on the goal.
Max Talbot tallied a short-handed goal 4:10 into the second period. He skated down the far side, circled in front of the net and shoved the puck past Nikolai Khabibulin.
Michel Ouellet boosted Pittsburgh's lead to 3-1 with 4:59 left in the second period. Streaking down the far side, he wristed the puck past Khabibulin. Erik Christensen earned the assist.
Patrick Sharp sliced Chicago's deficit to 3-2 with 1:43 remaining in the second period. Off a turnover in the Penguins' zone, Sharp broke in alone on Fleury for the easy goal.
The Blackhawks tied the game at 3 when Martin St. Pierre scored a power-play goal 2:18 into the third period.
Tuomo Ruutu gave Chicago a 4-3 lead with 6:50 to play.
However, Malkin tied the contest when he tapped in his own rebound 1:11 later. Crosby's shot deflected to Malkin on the left wing. Khabibulin stopped his initial shot, but Malkin reached back and tipped in the loose puck to knot the game at 4-all.
"We knew after that goal we had to fight our way back and he just drove to the net and came up big for us," Crosby said.
The goal gave extended Malkin's home point streak to 13 games (5+15), which snapped Mario Lemieux's franchise rookie record of 12 games.
"I had no idea about that. It's great to find about out something like that," Malkin said. "Hopefully I am going to continue to have points and goals - not in just the home games - and the team will continue to win."
In overtime, Martin Havlat had the chance to win it 10 seconds into the extra frame, but Fleury made an acrobatic, full-extension toe save to his left and covered up the rebound to end the threat.
"I stretched as far as I could. I just got a piece of it with the tip of my toe," Fleury said.
The save left the Penguins bench in awe.
"Marc made a huge save in overtime to keep us in it and give us a chance," Crosby said. "He bailed me out. That was my guy and it bailed me out. That was a nice save to get and it allowed us to get another point.
"He finds a way. He doesn't quit. He battles every night for however long it takes for us to hopefully get the two points. He's been solid. If we expect to keep winning, it has to stay that way."
In the shootout, Christensen scored for the Penguins. Fleury denied Havlat and Bryan Smolinski, while Khabibulin denied Crosby before Malkin used a nice move to beat the Chicago netminder with a backhander.
"I tried this during practice and I tried to make the move and I did and scored the goal," Malkin said.
Fleury made 24 saves to earn the win.
ICE CHIPS: Chris Thorburn and Alain Nasreddine were the Penguins' scratches...Brian Boucher, Jassen Cullimore and Tony Salmelained were the Blackhawks' scratches...The announced attendance was 17,051...Evgeni Malkin (No. 1), Maxime Talbot (No. 2) and Tuomo Ruutu (No. 3) were the game's three stars.