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Penguins Grades: Third Period Clinic, Malkin ‘Beast Mode’ Pushes Pens’ Win (+)

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin

TORONTO — The Pittsburgh Penguins allowed just four shots in the third period, and coach Mike Sullivan said Evgeni Malkin was in beast mode. The Penguins wobbled in the second period before putting the clamps on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third for a 4-2 win at Scotiabank Arena.

The Penguins were the much better team at even strength in the first period, and they were brilliant in the third period.

“I thought it was a clinic by the Pittsburgh Penguins, the way they defended (in the third),” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said.

The Penguins had a healthy nine scoring chances in the first period (just three against) and had three high-danger scoring chances against none, but they were bombarded with 14 scoring chances in the second before taking the puck away in the third.

For as good as the Penguins were in the final stanza, one player prevented the second period from being the hockey equivalent of a gong show.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.