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Penguins Beat Rangers 4-1 : Tied for First in Atlantic

Pens vs Rangers Recap
NHL All-Star voters around the world held their heads in shame last night.  It's not that Evgeni Malkin seemed all too perturbed in the league overlooking his obvious All-Star play.  In fact, he just wanted to make sure voters caught a glimpse of what they missed.

Malkin led the Pens to victory with his second hat trick of the year (and career) in a 4-1 victory over the slumping New York Rangers.  Also contributing from the blueline was Pens defenseman Sergei Gonchar.

Don't look so excited Geno...        That's a little better

                                                 The "Can't wait for Philly" smirk                                Similarity?

A couple of things went wrong in this game that could've ultimately proved disastrous.  In fact, it's what cost Ty Conklin his third shutout of the year.  Penalties were the bane of the Pens' existence last night.  Prior to this game the Pens accumulated seven penalties over the last three games.  Last night in Pitt the Pens managed ten, seven of which gave the Rangers the power play.  Luckily for the flightless ones, the Rangers managed to only convert once.

Of course, former fan favorite gone hater Jaromir Jagr was the one to kill the shutout.  His power play goal nearly halfway through the third didn't exactly pump up the Rangers offense, but it did kill Ty Conklin's goose egg.  

I can't even say if the Rangers lost for lack of trying.  A 44-shot game is anything but a lack of trying.  Ty Conklin was simply outstanding in net.  

Crosby also had a two point game, providing the helpers on Malkin's first two goals.  

Be sure to check out Dunman's Tales of the Tape to get the latest on the Laraque vs Orr first period fight and Hall vs Staal third period finisher.  

The 4-1 win over the rival Rangers gives the Pens two points and puts them in a tie for first with the New Jersey Devils.  The Devils, however, have played one less game than the Pens.  Perhaps the 1/29 match-up will be the deciding factor as both teams head into February.

Malkin on Ovechkin
In other news, the multi-year multi-million dollar Ovechkin contract is no secret around the league.  In fact, players, coaches and commentators have been chiming in to discuss the implications on the league as a whole.  Practically every All-Star playing up for negotiations in the not too distant future is either discussing or being discussed with regards to big-deal contracts.  (Dion Phaneuf, Evgeni Malkin, etc.)  In case there were any concerns with Malkin, here is what he recently had in mind when he spoke to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in regards to Ovechkin's 13-year, $124 million deal.

"Six years, then another six years," Malkin said. "That would be great."
Evgeni Malkin - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

I just hope it's him talking and not his agent when it comes time to negotiate.

One Hill Complaints
The cities intent to build an arena was put into social jeopardy early last week when the One Hill community complained the arena and it's owners failed to follow through on promises of providing jobs, a grocery store and other community contributions.  In turn, One Hill  protesters fought to be heard over the construction of both the arena and Majestic Star Casino.  No worries though.  The outcome of seven-hour meeting on Monday has kept the plans for the new arena on track.  In fact, the Pittsburgh Penguins themselves seem to be slipping out of the controversy now as it is fast becoming more of a city concern than a team one.