Evgeni Malkin is on a huge cold streak right now for the playoffs and it's very uncommon for him. He's gone nine straight games without a goal, which is his longest ever for not scoring in the playoffs. He had been on a six-game scoreless streak before this, and also had six five-game goalless droughts as well. Malkin's game seems to be getting better and better, but he's just not been able to find the scoreboard yet. Here are a few reasons as to why his breakout game could be possibly as soon as Game 4.
Putting him with Sid
This has been something that fans (including myself) and media have been calling for all playoffs due to Malkin's linemates not helping him out. He's been playing with Chris Kunitz who has clearly lost a step this season, Eric Fehr, and the speedy Bryan Rust who hardly passes whenever he has the puck.
Head coach Mike Sullivan finally decided to put them together for a little bit in Game 2 as they played a little over one minute together and they generated a high quality chance and had some great zone entries. On the high quality chance, Malkin fed the puck to Crosby who thought he had a sure goal but was robbed by Andre Vasilevsky with his glove. In Game 3, they played for over 4 minutes together and again had some amazing scoring chances.
Malkin was robbed a couple times by Vasilevsky with his pad after a couple nice feeds from Crosby. It's almost certain that Crosby and Malkin will play even more together during game four since they've looked really good together so far these last couple games and this could spark Malkin's huge game.
The Penguins Power Play as a whole needs to be better and this is the biggest reason as to why I think the breakout game is coming. Evgeni Malkin is the Penguins powerplay and without him, it suffers. Malkin has been getting some really good looks on the power play as in game one he had over 10 shot attempts and most of those came on the power play.
They just weren't going in for him which is frustrating for him and all the fans. Feeding Malkin bombs from the point or right wing circle is something they need to continually do each time as some of those shots are bound to go in the net. Pittsburgh also has to make sure they can draw more penalties since the refs always swallow their whistles in postseason games.
Evgeni Malkin is getting very close to having the kind of game had in game six against the Blue Jackets when he was just shot out of a cannon and recorded his second career playoff hat trick which clinched the series for the Penguins. If these two things can work (and history shows that they can), Evgeni Malkin will have his breakout game and potentially help take the Penguins to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2009.