More: James Neal - Hat Trick Hero
After scoring four goals in the second period, the Pittsburgh Penguins would really come back down to earth and score only two in the final period to clinch an 8-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets. It was a thrilling offensive game, and a great way to bounce back from the last second overtime loss to Philadelphia on Sunday that snapped the Pens' 11-game winning streak.
With a two-goal lead, Evgeni Malkin would get his fifth point of the night on an odd-looking goal. Geno went to play the puck on the board behind the net and then rifled it towards the front of the net as he spun around. It hit the right skate of Jets' goalie Chris Mason and dribbled across the goal line for Malkin's second goal of the evening, his 43rd of the season. The five-point night gives him a commanding lead in the NHL's points race as the season winds down.
Pittsburgh would finish off the scoring with six and a half minutes remaining when Jordan Staal put an easy one-time pass on the stick of Pascal Dupuis, who then put a rocket in the back of the net and extended his points-streak to seven games. The play was set up at the Pens blue line when the defense forced a Winnipeg turnover and Staal took it the other way along the boards.
When it was all over, Malkin finished with two goals and three assists, Sidney Crosby finished with four assists, and James Neal finished with a hat trick and an assist. It was a fun night at Consol Energy Center, where the Pens will look to start a new winning streak on Thursday in their only matchup with the Nashville Predators this season.
For more on this game and all things related to the Penguins please head over to PensBurgh. For some perspective from the other bench you can check out Arctic Ice Hockey, SB Nation's Winnipeg Jets blog. For more on this and every NHL game, please head over to the SB Nation NHL hub page.