Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) works the puck around the goalpost to score against Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson (50), of Sweden, during the first period.
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DETROIT — Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists before hurting his left leg early in the third period of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings tonight.
NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby also scored two goals to help the Penguins win.
Malkin got tangled up with Detroit’s Luke Glendening, lost his balance and his left skate took the brunt of collision with the boards behind Pittsburgh’s net. The Russian forward slowly got up and kept his left skate in the air as he was helped off the ice. He was called for holding on the play, but couldn’t serve the penalty because he was being evaluated.
Malkin moved past the 600-point mark for his career and ranks among league leaders with 41 points this season.
Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland put himself in danger of being suspended by the NHL for an illegal hit to the head. Engelland landed his right shoulder high on Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader late in the first period and was ejected with a match penalty. Abdelkader struggled to get up, had to be helped off the ice and didn’t return.
Pittsburgh’s Jeff Zatkoff made 28 saves, getting a start in part because he was playing near his hometown.
Jonas Gustavsson gave up three goals on 13 shots through two periods, playing in place of injured starter Jimmy Howard, and finished with 21 saves.
The Red Wings got off to a good start. They went ahead 1-0 at 6:09 of the first period when Niklas Kronwall’s shot just inside the blue line went off Crosby’s stick, bounced off the ice and got past Zatkoff.
The lead didn’t last long.
Detroit went to the penalty box twice midway through the first period and the NHL’s top team on the power play took advantage.
Crosby scored at 9:08 of the first and Malkin made it 2-1 at the 12:50 mark of the period.
Olli Maatta gave Pittsburgh a two-goal lead in the final minute of the second period.
Crosby, who started the night with an NHL-high 44 points, scored his second goal with five-plus minutes left.
NOTES: Pittsburgh D Kris Letang was a late scratch. ... Penguins coach Dan Bylsma (U.S.) and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock (Canada) will lead their countries in two months at the Winter Olympics. ... The Red Wings outshot Pittsburgh 14-4 in the second period, which started with them on the power play for four-plus minutes, but didn’t score.
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