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Penguins Wrap: Crosby Thrives, Malkin Lands a Shot



Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Pittsburgh Penguins had a pretty light schedule during the eight-day stretch that concluded Sunday

They started with victories at home against Dallas Monday and at Florida Thursday to extend their winning streak to seven games before losing, 3-2, at Carolina Sunday.

Along the way, they got a lucky break when it appeared that Evgeni Malkin might have been badly injured by a Sidney Crosby slapshot that struck him in an unprotected area above his right knee during the Panthers game, only to have it turn out that the shot caused more pain than damage.

A look back at the week that was:

Sunday (Dec. 11)

Crosby is one of the NHL’s top point-producers through the first two months of the regular season, and arguably the game’s finest 200-foot player. All of which makes him, at least at this point, a viable candidate to win his third Hart Trophy as the NHL player “adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.”


Jeff Petry, injured late in the Buffalo game two days earlier, is pronounced out of the game against Dallas this evening.

Malkin ends an epic defensive battle against the Stars by scoring the game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation.

Malkin, who didn’t have a goal in the previous nine games, proclaims the one he scored to defeat the Stars “lucky.”


Play any kind of game you want. There’s a good chance the Penguins will play it at least as well as you do.

Re-signing Malkin rather than pursuing free-agent center Vincent Trocheck during the offseason is looking like a prudent decision by GM Ron Hextall.

Penguins announce that Jeff Petry has been placed on the Long-Term Injured list, and that Drew O’Connor and Mark Friedman have been recalled from Wilkes-Barre.


After being fortunate — and healthy — for most of the season, the Penguins announce that Jason Zucker, like Petry, will be out for an extended period.

Teammates react to the significant injuries suffered by Zucker and Petry.


What could be read into the six-game winning streak the Pittsburgh Penguins will take into their game against the Panthers?

The Penguins earned a solid 4-2 victory at Florida, but got a scare midway through the third period, when Evgeni Malkin left the game after being hit by a Sidney Crosby shot.

The early prognosis for Malkin turned out to be pretty encouraging.

Malkin’s injury might have looked serious, but his teammates didn’t seem concerned. And even got a few laughs out of it after the game.


Jason Zucker’s injury has given Danton Heinen a chance to get back in the lineup and rediscover his scoring touch.

Tristan Jarry has been playing great, but could he improve even more? And so much for giving Kris Letang a reduced workload in the wakes of his stroke late last month.


So, why has Kasperi Kapanen’s game slipped again, and when is Mark Friedman going to get a chance to contribute for the Pittsburgh Penguins?

Malkin returned to practice and pronounced himself ready to play Sunday against Carolina.

Whether being injured by Crosby’s shot would affect Malkin’s performance against the Hurricanes remained to be seen, but it clearly didn’t hurt his sense of humor, as he took a lighthearted shot at, well, the Crosby shot that hurt him.


Would Philadelphia winger James van Riemsdyk be a good fit for the Penguins?

The Penguins had a 2-1 lead in the third period, but couldn’t hold off Carolina and had their seven-game winning streak come to an end.

The Penguins’ power play scored a goal against the Hurricanes, but generally wasn’t the menacing force it usually has been in recent weeks.

Catching Carolina in its third game in four nights should have worked to the Penguins’ advantage, but they were unable to capitalize on it.