Even though the Pittsburgh Penguins are only three points above the postseason cutoff in the Eastern Conference, they are starting to look more like the team that often settles near the top.
Sure, they still miss injured captain Sidney Crosby and other sidelined stars, but Evgeni Malkin is doing his best to pick up the scoring slack.
Richard Park scored the go-ahead goal 2:23 into the third period, and Malkin padded the lead with two late tallies Thursday night to give the suddenly hot Penguins a 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers.
The Penguins have won four straight after a six-game skid and earned their first win in three tries this season against New York, which leads Boston by one point atop the East.
''It's always hard to play against the Rangers,'' said Malkin, who has seven goals in the Penguins' winning streak. ''It's tough because they have a great team and they are the best team now in the NHL.''
Chris Kunitz gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead in the first period, but the ...