National Hockey League
Malkin grabs 2 assists as Pens shut out Flames
National Hockey League

Malkin grabs 2 assists as Pens shut out Flames

Published Mar. 26, 2009 3:48 a.m. ET

Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and the Pittsburgh Penguins kept pace in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race with a 2-0 victory over the CalgaryFlames on Wednesday night.

Defensemen Kris Letang and Hal Gill scored, and Evgeni Malkin had two assists, giving him a career-high 107 points and extending his NHL scoring lead to 11 points.

After having its 12-game points streak snapped in a 3-1 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, the Penguins beat the Flames to take over sole possession of sixth place in the conference with 88 points - a point behind Carolina and two behind Philadelphia.

Fleury has 15 career shutouts.

Some of the Flames' best chances came during their five power-play opportunities, including a 4-minute chance that spanned the second intermission after Malkin was penalized for high-sticking Jim Vandermeer.

Fluery stopped David Moss from in close during that power play, and denied Curtis Glencross at least three times throughout the course of the game on chances from in front of the net. Another of Fleury's better saves was on Flames goal leader Michael Cammalleri on a rebound of Olli Jokinen's shot.

Letang got the only goal Pittsburgh would need, his ninth, 8:20 into the contest when he slammed home a puck while on the power play and wide open to the right of Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

Malkin began the play with a slap shot from the right circle. The rebound came to Crosby, who was standing on the goal line on that side. He slid a pass through the crease to Letang.

Letang's goal was his fourth this month and eighth in his past 24 games. He has 10 points in 14 games under interim coach Dan Bylsma.

Gill, a 6-foot-7 defensive defenseman with only 31 goals in 845 career games, had to have one of his prettiest 6:43 into the third after Malkin carried the puck down the right wing into the Calgary end and left it for Gill.

Gill's second of the season was a wrist shot from high in the right circle that beat Kiprusoff on his stick side, perfectly placed into the top-left corner just inside the crossbar and post.

The Penguins improved to 4-1-1 on their franchise-record eight-game hometsand and 13-2-3 under Bylsma.


This was each team's final interconference game of the season. The Penguins finished 10-6-2 against the Western Conference and the Flames 10-7-1 against the East. ... Crosby has a point in each of the 10 games since he returned from a groin injury and in 14 consecutive games overall. ... Crosby has at least one power-play assist in each of his past five games.


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