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Columbus
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39 SOG
34 SOG
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game recap

Penguins 5, Blue Jackets 3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Penguins 5, Blue Jackets 3
Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 5

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Evgeni Malkin is already quite comfortable in the NHL.

The highly touted Russian rookie scored for the third straight game, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

Malkin scored on a wrist shot midway through the third period to put Pittsburgh ahead 4-2 and become the first player to score in his first three NHL games since Jan Caloun did it for the San Jose Sharks in 1995-96.

Malkin laughed when asked, through an interpreter, if he expects to keep that streak intact for the duration of his career.

"I don't think that's going to happen," he said. "But I'm going to try very hard every game and keep working hard."

Pittsburgh, which won its second straight, got two short-handed goals - one on a penalty shot - from 18-year-old Jordan Staal, their first-round draft pick in June. Michel Ouellet and Sergei Gonchar scored the first two goals for Pittsburgh, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 36 shots.

However, it was Malkin who stole the spotlight again four days after his sensational NHL debut.

The Penguins led 3-2 lead in the third period, with Columbus having controlled most of the play for the previous 35 minutes.

They took control shortly after Sidney Crosby moved into the Blue Jackets' zone with a power play about to expire and deftly glided backward near the right dot to draw two penalty-killers toward him. He then passed to Malkin, trailing the play, atop the circle, and Malkin's first shot of the evening beat goalie Fredrik Norrena low to the far post at 7:04.

"As soon as I crossed the blue line, I saw him," Crosby said of Malkin. "It was just a matter of waiting for him to come over and get open. He made a great shot. Quick and accurate."

Malkin expressed no surprise that Crosby, who has four assists in his past two games, saw him coming.

"He's the best player," Malkin said. "I knew this pass was coming."

He also knew, apparently, where to shoot on Norrena, who had made three exceptional saves earlier in the period.

"I saw the move the goaltender made to Crosby and the opening he left on the other side," Malkin said. "I shot it there."

After his goal, Malkin pointed toward his family - father Vladimir, mother Natalia and brother Denis - in the crowd, watching him in North America for the first time.

Gilbert Brule, Fredrik Modin and Nikolai Zherdev scored for Columbus, which lost its third straight and fifth in seven games this season.

"It's disappointing to lose, but I thought the effort was there," coach Gerard Gallant said. "Pittsburgh did a good job jamming the net and getting pucks to the crease, and they banged a few home."

Norrena, a Finn making his NHL debut at age 32 after more than a decade of professional hockey in Europe, stopped 29 of 34 shots.

"It was tough for him because of all the chances they had and all the power plays," Gallant said.

Pittsburgh was 3 for 9 with the man-advantage.

"We were doing a lot of penalty-killing out there," winger Jason Chimera said.

The game might have meant as much to Staal as it did for Malkin. By NHL rules, Pittsburgh can use Staal for three more games before deciding whether to return him to his Canadian junior team or keep him in the NHL. The Penguins' first-round pick in the June draft has scored three goals in six games, all short-handed.

"Obviously, this was good for me," Staal said. "I'm just trying to play my best hockey."

Staal's first goal broke a 2-2 tie at 14:43 of the second period. He overpowered Columbus defenseman Duvie Westcott just outside the crease and used his long reach to rap a rebound behind Norrena.

Staal's penalty shot came at 7:49 in unusual fashion. His forehand attempt clanged hard off the left post, prompting referee Marc Joannette to signal there was no goal. Before the puck settled, though, it caromed off Norrena's leg pad and into the net. A replay overturned the initial call, and a goal was awarded.

"It's not my day when a goal goes in like that," Norrena said.

Zherdev closed the scoring on a two-man advantage at 15:25 of the third period.

Notes Pittsburgh did not record its fourth victory until its 15th game last season. ... Blue Jackets center Sergei Fedorov missed a sixth game to a strained shoulder, but he could return Monday. ... It was the teams' first meeting in Pittsburgh since Dec. 13, 2003.

scoring summary
1st Period
02:03
PIT
PPG - Michel Ouellet (4) ASST: Sergei Gonchar (4), Ryan Whitney (4)
1 - 0 PIT
07:51
PIT
PPG - Sergei Gonchar (2) ASST: Mark Recchi (4), Ryan Malone (1)
2 - 0 PIT
17:35
CBJ
PPG - Gilbert Brule (1) ASST: David Vyborny (6)
2 - 1 PIT
2nd Period
07:58
CBJ
Freddy Modin (1) ASST: Anson Carter (1), Nikolay Zherdev (1)
2 - 2 Tie
14:43
PIT
SHG - Jordan Staal (2) ASST: Mark Recchi (5), Rob Scuderi (2)
3 - 2 PIT
3rd Period
07:04
PIT
PPG - Evgeni Malkin (3) ASST: Sidney Crosby (8), Michel Ouellet (3)
4 - 2 PIT
07:49
PIT
SHG - PS - Jordan Staal (3) ASST: NONE
5 - 2 PIT
15:25
CBJ
PPG - Nikolay Zherdev (3) ASST: David Vyborny (7), Duvie Westcott (4)
5 - 3 PIT
penalty summary
1st Period
00:32
CBJ
Adam Foote  Tripping against  Sidney Crosby
03:41
CBJ
Rick Nash  Hi-sticking
06:34
CBJ
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen  Holding against  John Leclair
08:34
CBJ
Duvie Westcott  Holding against  Dominic Moore
08:46
PIT
Sidney Crosby  Hooking against  Ron Hainsey
09:24
PIT
Ryan Whitney  Interference against  Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
09:24
PIT
Ryan Malone  Roughing against  Rick Nash
09:24
CBJ
Rick Nash  Roughing against  Ryan Malone
11:57
CBJ
Jason Chimera  Roughing against  Josef Melichar
11:57
PIT
Josef Melichar  Charging against  Jason Chimera
11:57
PIT
Josef Melichar  Roughing against  Jason Chimera
17:02
PIT
Dominic Moore  Interference against  Manny Malhotra
18:00
PIT
Nisse Ekman  Holding against  Anson Carter
2nd Period
00:47
CBJ
Gilbert Brule  Holding against  Ryan Malone
05:58
PIT
Michel Ouellet  Holding against  Aaron Johnson
12:51
CBJ
Rostislav Klesla  Fighting (maj) against  Ryan Malone
12:51
PIT
Ryan Malone  Instigator against  Rostislav Klesla
12:51
PIT
Ryan Malone  Fighting (maj) against  Rostislav Klesla
12:51
PIT
Ryan Malone  Instigator - Misconduct
3rd Period
00:58
CBJ
Gilbert Brule  Holding against  Dominic Moore
05:07
CBJ
Rostislav Klesla  Tripping against  Dominic Moore
07:28
PIT
John Leclair  Interference against  Rostislav Klesla
09:30
CBJ
Aaron Johnson  Hi-sticking against  Colby Armstrong
12:28
CBJ
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen  Roughing against  Jarkko Ruutu
14:37
PIT
Sergei Gonchar  Interference against  Rostislav Klesla
14:56
PIT
Jarkko Ruutu  Holding
18:35
PIT
Sidney Crosby  Hooking against  Aaron Johnson
goalie stats
Fredrik Norrena
Fredrik Norrena
SA: 34TOI: 57:05
Saves: 29EV: 13 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 15 - 18
SV%: .853SH: 1 - 3
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 39TOI: 59:58
Saves: 36EV: 14 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 20 - 22
SV%: .923SH: 2 - 2