MALKIN POWERS PENGUINS IN MILESTONE GAME
Evgeni Malkin notched 2-1—3 while playing in his 700th NHL game (all w/ PIT) and Mark Streit (1-1—2), who was acquired from Tampa Bay on Wednesday, scored the game-winning goal in his team debut as Pittsburgh improved to 19-2-2 in its past 23 home games.
* At 39-16-8 (86 points), the Penguins moved into a tie – in terms of points – with the Blue Jackets (40-16-6, 86 points) for second place in the Metropolitan Division.
* Malkin – who also has reached milestones for career goals, assists and points this season (323-502—825) – recorded his fifth three-point effort of 2016-17 and the 74th such performance of his 11-season NHL career.
* Malkin ranks second on the team with 28 goals this season, matching his highest total since 2011-12 when he scored a career-high 50 goals en route to winning his second Art Ross Trophy as the League’s top point-getter (50-59—109 in 75 GP).
CLUBS EARN CRUCIAL WINS IN WESTERN PLAYOFF RACE
The Blackhawks (41-18-5, 87 points) and Flames (35-26-4, 74 points) each extended their win streaks to six games in contests that featured late tying goals, while the Ducks (33-21-10, 76 points) won in their return from the bye week to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race:
* Artemi Panarin tied the game with 1:14 remaining in the third period and scored again in the shootout as Chicago rallied for their 11th win in their past 12 games. Panarin reached the 20-goal mark for the second time in as many NHL seasons as the Blackhawks moved within one point of the idle Wild (41-15-6, 88 points) for first place in the Western Conference. Minnesota holds two games in hand.
* The Flames yielded a tying goal with 1.8 seconds left in regulation, but Mikael Backlund scored in overtime – his 20th goal of the season – to help Calgary improve to 11-2-1 in their last 14 games. The Flames, who also went 6-0-0 from Nov. 30 – Dec. 10, 2016, have posted multiple win streaks of at least six games in the same season for the first time since 2006-07.
* Rickard Rakell (2-0—2) scored twice – including the eventual game-winning goal just 16 seconds after Jakob Silfverberg (1-0—1) tied the game – to help the Ducks pick up their third straight home win. Jonathan Bernier made 37 saves to earn the victory against his former club, as the Ducks leapfrogged the idle Oilers (34-22-8, 76 points) into second place in the Pacific Division, where seeds No. 2-4 are separated by only two
GAME RECAPS WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHL MORNING SKATE PUBLICATION