Penguins defeat Phoenix, 6-1


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The Penguins staged a bonanza tonight at Consol Energy Center.

Evgeni Malkin matched a career high with five points, Sidney Crosby extended his points streak to 21 games and the Penguins roadrunnered the Phoenix Coyotes, 6-1, tonight at Consol Energy Center.

The Penguins killed all six Phoenix power plays.

The Penguins opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 6:56 of the first period. Kris Letang's shot from the top of the slot banged off of the stick of Coyotes defenseman Martin Hanzal and past goaltender Jason LaBarbera to make it 1-0.

Tyler Kennedy picked up his 50th career assist on the goal.

Phoenix then got four consecutive power plays in a row, but the Penguins killed them.

The fourth was shortened with Coyotes captain Shane Doan got an interference penalty, and Evgeni Malkin scored during the ensuing four-on-four play go fatten the Penguins' lead to 2-0.

The play was set up by a nifty faceoff win by Crosby. After the Coyotes' Vern Fiddler got booted from the faceoff for moving early, Crosby cleanly won the draw against Lauri Korpikoski, stepped around Korpikoski and, from the lower portion of the right circle, fed Malkin.

Malkin slammed the puck home from the slot.

The Penguins had one of their best periods of the season in the second period. They scored three goals and killed off 2:00 of a Phoenix five-on-three advantage.

Malkin scored his second goal at 3-0, on a power play. Phoenix's Keith Yandle fell and lost his handle on the puck behind his net. Crosby was there to scoop up the puck and feed Malkin, who was coming unchecked down the slot and beat LaBarbera 51 seconds into the period.

Crosby then picked up his third point of the night when Malkin returned the favor by setting up him for a power-play goal to make it 4-0 at 2:50. Crosby got the feed at the right dot, slid toward the hash marks and shot the puck past LaBarbera's glove.

The Penguins chased LaBarbera for rookie goaltender Matt Climie when Matt Cooke beat LaBarbera to the glove side to make it 5-0 at 7:21.

The Penguins then took a series of penalties that produced 3:11 of Coyotes power-play time, including the extended time with a two-man advantage. Phoenix got just one shot over the 3:11.

Wojtek Wolski spoiled the shutout bid of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury when he got credited with a bang-bang goal while the Coyotes were shorthanded at 8:07 of the third period to pull Phoenix to within 5-1. Derek Morris' shot from the left point popped off of Wolski's right knee, off Fleury's mask and into the net.

The Penguins' Mark Letestu sprang Chris Conner on a breakaway, and Conner scored to make it 6-1 at 18:21 of the third period.

The Penguins play at home again Wednesday, against Florida.


Shelly Anderson: at shanderson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1721 First Published December 21, 2010 2:45 AM


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