Malkin has goal, 2 assists as Penguins beat Lightning 5-1
By MARK DIDTLER
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists, Tristan Jarry made 20 saves and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Thursday night.
It was Malkin's 103rd career three-point game, which ranks fourth in team history behind Mario Lemieux (272), Sidney Crosby (155) and Jaromir Jagr (129).
"I thought that was Geno's best game of the year to this point," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "Tonight I thought he was just in beast mode the way he commanded the puck."
Malkin played in his 20th game after starting the season sidelined by a knee injury.
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper was given a game misconduct for arguing with officials with 53.7 seconds remaining in the second period after the Lightning received an extra minor penalty stemming from a scrum.
Cooper was unhappy that referee Wes McCauley briefed Sullivan on the calls but did not come to the Lightning bench.
"I'm not so sure in all the years like, what I said is something that he never heard before in his history of reffing," Cooper said. "I want to know what that was."
Sidney Crosby, Danton Heinen, Brock McGinn and Jake Guentzel had the other Pittsburgh goals as the Penguins improved to 19-6-3 on the road, including wins in eight of their last nine.
"For me it was one of our more complete efforts all year long," Sullivan said. "I thought throughout our lineup we had contributions from everybody on both sides of the puck. We were stingy defensively. I thought we created a lot of offense off our defense but I loved our puck-pursuit game up the ice."
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 35 shots and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored for the Lightning, who had a five-game winning streak snapped. Steve Stamkos saw his five-game goal streak come to an end, finishing without a shot on goal.
"They outplayed us start to finish," Cooper said. "They imposed their will on us and we had no answer."
The Penguins and Lightning were two of six NHL teams starting the day with 74 points or more.
Malkin made it 4-1 with a breakaway goal at 5:14 of the third before Guentzel scored an empty-netter with six minutes to go.
Heinen had a rebound goal 3:46 into the game before Crosby made it 2-0 from the left circle off a nifty pass by Guentzel during a power play at 6:27 of the first. Malkin assisted on both goals.
Malkin moved past Joe Nieuwendyk and Mike Bossy (1,126) into 60th place on the career points list with 1,128. Crosby tied Peter Bondra for 43rd place with his 503rd goal.
Pittsburgh had a 16-5 shots advantage in the first.
McGinn stopped a 13-game goal drought to put the Penguins up 3-1 with 2:52 left in the second.
Tampa Bay got within 2-1 at 6:20 of the second when Pat Maroon stole a defensive-zone pass by Kris Letang and set up Bellemare's goal.
Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh was hit by Chad Ruhwedel's shot and then accidentally high-sticked Crosby in the shoulder-neck area early in the second. Both were OK.
McDonagh was shaken up again when he took a shot off the leg early in the third but remained in the game.
Crosby has 151 power-play goals, which ties Glenn Anderson for 50th place. ... Malkin has six assists and 11 points during a seven-game point streak. ... Lightning center Brayden Point had a seven-game point streak end (five goals, six assists). ... Guentzel has 34 road points in 25 games. He has been held pointless on the road just twice in 25 games.
Penguins: Play Friday night at Carolina.
Lightning: Host Detroit on Friday night.
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Updated March 3, 2022