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Penguins vs. Wild Recap: Evgeni Malkin powers Pens with 4 point night

Evgeni Malkin scores 4 points and the Pittsburgh Penguins skate past the Minnesota Wild 4-3 Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. Olli Maatta appeared to be seriously injured, to be a dull spot in a winning effort.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After a very rough weekend, Evgeni Malkin definitely raised his game tonight and was the dominant force in the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.

The Highlights

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk was probably too busy complaining to corral the rebound of this Evgeni Malkin shot and it pops right out to David Perron. Perron beasts through Marco Scandella and slams home the easy empty netter to make it 1-0, for only Perron's second goal of the season.

Mikael Granlund scored to make it 1-1, but then Beau Bennett scores on the power play, by just putting a simple puck on net following a nice but easy feed from Malkin. Amazing what happens putting a shot on goal in a dangerous position.

Dubnyk was totally thrown off his game with Penguins getting in his grill, this time it was Patric Hornqvist doing it, with Kris Letang feeding Malkin for - brace yourself - a power play goal. 3-1 Pens.

After a lengthy replay, the goal would be confirmed.

Then just some classic Geno magic to make it 4-1 as he receives a short Phil Kessel pass, goes right by Granlund and rifles a shot by Dubnyk.

Jared Spurgeon would score from the Iggy spot on a Wild PP to make it 4-2 heading into the second period.

After two more penalties to Kessel and Matt Cullen , the Wild make the Pens pay at 5v3 to make the score 4-3 in the 3rd period.

That would be it for the goals.

Some thoughts

  • Maatta's injury was brutal, tough one to take. he was in clear pain after being cross-checked well late into the open door. Hopefully after the sting wears off it won't have major damage but it certainly didn't look good.
  • After a rough go in puck possession and shots, the Pens had a big night tonight. Even in the 2nd period (their biggest struggle time) they out-shot Minny and the Wild didn't register a shot on goal until 9 minutes into the period.
  • The penalty Letang drew by jolting his head back simulating a high-stick is one of my least favorite things that NHL players do. He's got to be better than that, "COME ON, MAAAN". (Worst of all, a Penguin stick that got raised too).
  • Unnecessary penalty by Ian Cole (with his team already short-handed) to lead to a PK goal against and get Minnesota back in the game at 4-2 before the end of the second period.
  • Ditto a lazy high-stick by Kessel and what could have been an avoidable penalty to Cullen to give an extended 5v3 situation for Minneosota in the 3rd.
  • Nice play by Adam Clendening to keep the puck in the zone for the Pens 4th goal (Malkin's second of the night). A small play, but the type of play that an offensively aware and skilled defenseman can and will make (cough cough so not Rob Scuderi who sat out presumably with an illness).
  • Nick Bonino also missed the game (his first of the season), believed to be sick as well. Hopefully he'll be feeling better and ready for the next game Thursday.
  • Some guts for the Pens to finish the game with 5 defensemen (after the Maatta injury) with one of them being Clendening in only his second game of the season, so obviously they weren't going to lean on him.
  • 29:37 for Letang. He's had an uneven season, but he's carrying so much weight.

At the end of the day, great night for Malkin, and hopefully Maatta isn't too badly injured. Nice win for the Pens.