A game after which the Pittsburgh Penguins score eight goals deserves a look at the overall NHL scoring race, wouldn’t you say? After all, both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin had big nights, and they were already right at the top of the league (and now with their bye past them, with a chance to catch up in games played, which is why they aren’t at THE top)...
Crosby and Justin Schultz both had four-point nights. That puts Crosby up to 50 points in 37 games played - on pace for 103 (which would be his first 100+ point season since 2013-14). He’s also now scored 27 goals this season - still leading the league - and on pace for 55, which would be a career high.
Schultz, meanwhile? He has 30 points in 43 games, fifth in defensemen scoring league-wide. What a pickup from last year, huh?
And that’s not to discount a couple of three-point nights, courtesy of Evgeni Malkin’s hat trick, Conor Sheary being an awesome linemate, and Trevor Daley also being fantastic in general.
Malkin is, of course, the most notable one of that group: he now has 49 points in 43 games played, good for third in the league, and on pace for 93, which would be his fourth best season. Via the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the third time Malkin has scored a hat trick in one period.
That ties him with the Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg for the most single-period hat tricks by an active NHL player. Malkin ranks second for most one-period hat tricks in Penguins history, behind Mario Lemieux, who produced eight of them.
No other team in the NHL has two players in the top five of league scoring. The Chicago Blackhawks have two in the top 10, but with Phil Kessel currently sitting at 11th (he only had an assist in that goal-fest, boooo), the Penguins are that close to have three in the top 10. So...
Games in which 15 goals are scored are pretty good for stats padding - but the important thing is, they got the win.
And they have two of the very best players in the NHL performing at their very best, too. When they’re on their game like this, who can even stop them?