The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 19, 2013

Penguins best Canucks in shootout

By Dan Scifo
The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Evgeni Malkin scored in the third round of the shootout, Marc-Andre Fleury made the deciding stop on Ryan Kesler and the Pittsburgh Penguins remained unbeaten at home after a 4-3 victory against the Vancouver Canucks Saturday at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Malkin skated down the right-wing boards and moved across the ice, curling backhand to forehand to stuff the puck past Canucks’ goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Sidney Crosby moved into a tie atop the NHL leaderboard with his seventh goal of the season, and had two assists. Chris Kunitz netted his fourth goal and added two assists, and rookie defenseman Olli Maatta scored his first NHL goal for the Penguins, who won for the 20th time in 22 games at Consol Energy Center.

Penguins’ goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 36 shots for his seventh win of the season, denying Kesler, Alexander Edler, and Mike Santorelli in the shootout.

Luongo, who made 25 saves, stopped Crosby and Jussi Jokinen in the shootout before Malkin scored.

Zack Kassian scored a third-period goal, while Edler and Brad Richardson also scored for the Canucks, who lost for the first time during a season-high seven-game road swing. Kevin Bieksa had three assists.

The teams were tied at 2 after two periods and traded goals in the third, scoring 22 seconds apart. Kassian gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead at 7:10 of the third, using a backhander to re-direct Bieksa’s shot from the point behind Fleury.

Maatta scored his first NHL goal 22 seconds later, crashing the net to slam home the rebound from a Kunitz slap shot.

Brandon Sutter had a chance to end it after he was awarded a penalty shot with 1:24 left in regulation, but Luongo’s glove save sent the game to overtime.

Crosby extended his point streak to eight games, his longest stretch to start a season.

Crosby, who leads the NHL with 17 points, has recorded multiple points in four consecutive games. He also has a 16-game point streak against Canadian-based teams.

A fluky bounce helped the Canucks score the game’s first goal at 13:49 of the opening period - the first time a visiting team led at Consol Energy Center this season. Edler’s slap shot from center ice hit Fleury in the chest and awkwardly popped into the air, dropping behind the Penguins’ goaltender and trickling across the goal-line.

Crosby answered less than two minutes later, whacking the rebound from a Pascal Dupuis slap shot past Luongo to tie the game.

The Penguins jumped ahead with a power-play goal at 12:04 of the second, taking advantage of a Vancouver bench penalty for too many men on the ice.

Malkin set up the goal from behind the net, taking Luongo to one post before sending a pass to the opposite side, where Kunitz was there to one-time the puck home.

Richardson, appearing in his 400th career NHL game, tied it less than five minutes later with his second goal in as many games. Richardson took a feed from Dale Weise in the slot off the rush and roofed a shot over Fleury’s glove from below the right faceoff dot.

NOTES: Malkin’s assist tied him with Syl Apps for fifth in franchise history. . Penguins F Chris Conner, who was recalled from AHL/Wilkes-Barre Scranton on Friday, replaced Harry Zolnierczyk, a healthy scratch. The Penguins also scratched Beau Bennett (lower body) and Dustin Jeffrey. . The Canucks sent C Zac Dalpe to AHL/Utica on a conditioning assignment. . D Yannick Weber and Andrew Alberts were also scratched. . Vancouver is back in action Sunday at Columbus, while Pittsburgh hosts Colorado on Monday, part of a three-game homestand.