PITTSBURGH (AP) — Evgeni Malkin scored his 15th career 3-pointer and added an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 11-2 on Sunday.
Sidney Crosby, Kasperi Kapanen, Jeff Carter, Teddy Blueger, Danton Heinen, Brian Boyle and newly acquired Rickard Rakell also scored for the Penguins, who needed less than 30 minutes to take a 6-0 lead en route to their first 11 goals. game in almost 30 years. Tristan Jarry made 33 saves to win for the sixth time in his last seven starts.
Pittsburgh rebounded from a listless loss to the New York Rangers on Friday by overwhelming the Red Wings, displaying its firepower in the process by submitting the franchise’s first 11-goal game since an 11-5 victory over Philadelphia on November 16, 1993. .
The Penguins also stayed one point ahead of the Rangers for second place in the hard-fought Metropolitan Division. New York visits the PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday night.
Dylan Larkin scored his 28th goal for Detroit and Jakub Vrana added his sixth, but it wasn’t enough as the Red Wings lost for the ninth time in 11 games. Alex Nedeljkovic absorbed most of Pittsburgh’s early onslaught, allowing four goals before being replaced by Calvin Pickard after Carter’s short-handed goal 3:18 into the second made it 4-0.
Pickard fared no better, allowing four goals on 13 shots before exiting in the third period after a collision with Rackell, forcing Nedeljkovic back. He fared no better the second time than the first, eventually allowing seven goals on 22 Total Shots Against.
Two days after being outplayed early on by the Rangers, Pittsburgh responded by showing the kind of depth they’ll need if they want to make a deep playoff run.
The Penguins added Rackell at the deadline last week in hopes of taking some pressure off Crosby and Malkin. While the two superstars had little trouble finding the net against Detroit, they had plenty of help. Five of Pittsburgh’s goals came from players in the bottom six: Carter, Heinen, Kapanen, Blueger and Boyle.
Kapanen scored his second goal in six games as he started the deluge with a beautiful move that left him alone with Nedeljkovic. One Deke and Kapanen had little trouble hitting the puck into the empty net for their eleventh goal in just 4:16.
The ease with which Kapanen scored was a sign of things to come. Blueger doubled the lead at 14:23 from the first with a shot that went out of the race. Malkin’s first goal, a slap shot on the power play straight off a faceoff, made it 3-0 less than 2 minutes into the second. Carter’s short-handed goal, just Pittsburgh’s third of the season, pushed the score to 4-0 and hounded Nedeljkovic.
Rust’s goal after Pickard came on also gave Malkin 696 career assists, tied with Hall of Famer Sergei Fedorov for the most by a Russian-born player.
Goals late in the second from Larkin and Vrana (Vrana in a nice play in which he stripped Pittsburgh defenseman Mike Matheson naked and quickly fired a shot past Jarry) briefly brought the Red Wings to life, but only briefly. Crosby’s 24th goal of the season off a fine ice cross from Evan Rodrigues just 77 seconds after Vrana’s score added more fuel to an already raging fire.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Red Wings: Take a couple of days off to recover before hosting the New York Rangers on Wednesday.
Penguins – Try to get a little revenge on the Rangers on Tuesday night.
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