Malkin hat trick powers Penguins

Evgeni Malkin scored three times, Sidney Crosby added a goal and an assist and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-2 Saturday night for their second straight victory.

Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury won his second consecutive start, improving to 3-6-0 after stopping 34 shots.

Malkin and Crosby added to their career dominance of Atlanta. Crosby has 28 points, including eight goals, in 19 games against the Thrashers. Malkin has 27 points, including nine goals, in 17 games.

After tying it 1-all 13:22 into the second period, Malkin made it 3-1 on the power play by tapping in his own rebound with 15:18 left. Malkin’s seventh goal of the season was an empty-netter.

Crosby put Pittsburgh ahead 2-1 by redirecting a shot from Deryk Engelland for his 12th goal.

The Penguins improved to 30-9-2 against Atlanta, which led 1-0 on defenseman Brent Sopel’s first goal of the season.

Niclas Bergfors’ fifth goal cut the lead to 3-2 for the Thrashers, who have one victory in their last five games. Bergfors tapped in the puck from the left side of the crease after receiving Evander Kane’s backhand pass from the rear boards.

Pittsburgh appears to have bounced back from a 7-4 loss Wednesday, when Boston scored five unanswered goals in the third period.

One of the biggest differences is Fleury, who hadn’t won in regulation this season before Friday’s victory over Tampa Bay.

Atlanta goalie Ondrej Pavelec dropped to 0-5 against the Penguins. He stopped 24 of 27 shots.

Arron Asham assisted on Malkin’s first goal, a wrister he took from the bottom of the right circle.