The Pittsburgh Penguins won their third straight game but they are never without drama. Evgeni Malkin scored two goals (10, 11) and notched three points for the second consecutive game, Jake Guentzel scored his 20th goal and Tristan Jarry won his 11th decision in his last 13 starts as the Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2 at PPG Paints Arena.
However, as soon as Guentzel scored his 20th goal, it was figuratively and perhaps literally a backbreaker. Guentzel raced past all defenders to poke a loose puck into a wide-open net midway through the third period. Before he could celebrate, he tangled with Ottawa defenseman Thomas Chabot and flew face-first into the boards. He bent in an awkward way and left the ice immediately.
“It was really scary,” said head coach Mike Sullivan, who also said Guentzel was being evaluated by team doctors.
The game was also marred by a melee in the final seconds as Malkin retaliated against Ottawa pest Brady Tkachuk. The spat set off 10 player scrum. Malkin and Ottawa center JG Pageau were given minor penalties, while Ottawa participants Mark Borowiecki and Tkachuk were given 10-minute misconduct penalties. Penguins winger Bryan Rust also received a misconduct penalty.
Malkin didn’t seem to mind the chippiness.
“I like it. It’s like a playoff game,” Malkin said.
PHN Editor-in-Chief Dan Kingerski reports from PPG Paints Arena: