Found March 23, 2012 on Bleed Black & Gold:
Gettyimage.ashx_url_http_3a_2f_2fcache.gettyimages.com_2fxc_2f93450833.jpg_3fv_3d1_26c_3dewsasset_26k_3d2_26d_3d77bfba49ef878921cc759df4ebac47d025f837f18ddcae8abf1747ef5fc5c5feaf8c6d97e298a39c

It was just another night of beautiful hockey for Penguins fans.  Another 5 goal night.  Another 2 goals for who better be MVP Evgeni Malkin.  Not to mention Fleury recorded his 40th win of the season, the first goaltender to hit that mark so far this year.  Oh and James Neal had 4 assists.  This all coming in a game that the announcers talked about beforehand could very possibly be a preview of the Stanley Cup Championship series.  If that’s the best the West has, bring it on.

The night started like any other Penguin game just 1:23 into the first period Malkin knocked in his first of the night, another one of those shots that you just have to sit there and shake your head because it was amazing.   Pascal Dupuis added his 22nd goal of the season a few minutes later to go up 2-0 in the first period.  Dupuis is having a monster season too, and a personal best at that.   The Predators who were sporting the comeback of Russian Alexander Radulov, just could never catch up after the first period.

Matt Cooke and Chris Kunitz added two more goals in the second period before Radulov was able to put Nashville on the board.  But not to worry because Malkin buried the Predators with his second goal of the night, 45th of the season in the third period.   Nashville out shot the Penguins 30-23 but it never felt like that, the Penguins seemed pretty dominant throughout.  The Predators who are number one in the league on the Power Play had two opportunities but the Penguins penalty kill unit did what it always does as the 3rd ranked in the NHL and shut it down.

James Neal has been proving that he is worth that new contract he got this year, with 4 assists last night Neal moved into tied for 4th place in points in the league.  He also sits tied at 4th place in goals on the year.  What a ridiculous combo of James Neal and Evgeni Malkin.  It just doesn’t get much better.  Though it doesn’t look like Malkin is going to settle for just the Hart Trophy this year, he wants that Art Ross for most points and Rocket Richard Trophy for top goal scorer.  He’s only 5 goals behind Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, with both teams having 9 games left.    Even if Malkin doesn’t become the top goal scorer it’s looking very likely that he will definitely hit the 50 goal mark this year with 9 games left, which would be the first time in his NHL career.

With 9 games left the Penguins sit only 1 point behind the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers with 1 game still to be played against each other.  It’s also of note that the Penguins are only 3 points behind the league leading St. Louis Blues, and the Blues only have 7 games remaining to the Penguins 9 games.  The President’s Trophy is not out of the reach of the Penguins either.  Another tough weekend lies ahead though first as the Penguins travel to Ottawa on Saturday and then on back to New Jersey to meet the Devils.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Malkin helps Penguins wrap up playoff slot

Evgeni Malkin scored twice to help the host Pittsburgh Pittsburgh clinch a playoff berth for the sixth consecutive season with a 5-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday.Malkin, who netted his 44th and 45th goals, leads the NHL with 95 points. He and has seven goals and 14 points during a six-game point streak.James Neal added four assists for a Penguins squad that won for...

Malkin, Penguins clinch spot in playoffs

Alexander Radulov bailed on the Nashville Predators four years ago to become the best player in his native Russia. In Radulov's return to the NHL, countryman Evgeni Malkin left little doubt who's the best player in the world. Malkin scored twice to push his league-leading point total to 95 and the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched a playoff berth with a 5-1 victory over the...

Predators routed by playoff-bound Penguins

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Evgeni Malkin scored twice, James Neal had four assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched a playoff spot with a 5-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. Chris Kunitz, Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis also scored to help Pittsburgh pull within a point of the New York Rangers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with nine games remaining...

#PaulMartin Powerball: 03.24.12 $415

 Only one entry per person/per game Running Twitter contest for the rest of the season.  We will be raising the pot every game.   Huge thanks to GetToOurGame.com for this new PaulMartinPowerball song:   How to play: 1. Get yourself a Twitter account and guess the time and period Paul Martin will score a goal. Using this...

It's a boy for Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie

Hilary Duff is a new mom. The 24-year-old actress announced the birth of her son on her website and Twitter feed Thursday. Duff writes that she and husband Mike Comrie welcomed son Luca Cruz Comrie on Tuesday night. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and is the first child for the couple, who married in 2010. Duff says she and Comrie ''feel like the luckiest parents in...

Senators’ Owner Ready In Case His Team Fails To Make The Playoffs

from Ken Warren of Senators Extra, (Eugene) Melnyk understands that the Senators, who went into Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins with only one win and two extra time losses in their past six games, need to re-discover their groove soon to qualify for the post-season. He says the situation is akin to a playoff series, with the Senators needing to win four of its remaining...

Welcome to the 2012 playoffs, Pittsburgh Penguins

If the Dark Ages (2001-2005) taught us anything, it is to appreciate the playoffs. And that is why we celebrate tonight. With a 5-1 destruction of the Nashville Predators, the Pens have punched their ticket to Lord Stanley's dance.   This is only the beginning, friends.  We ride.   Go Pens

Travis Yost: Ottawa Blitzes Pittsburgh at Scotiabank; Defense Was Entirely Optional

Sixty minutes and twelve goals later, it appears both Paul MacLean and Dan Bylsma had the same gameplan heading into tonight's tilt: Offense, and more offense. Advantage to the Ottawa Senators, who doubled up the Pittsburgh Penguins by a final score of 8-4 in one of the wildest offensive games of the season. For Pittsburgh, the beating handed out by Ottawa on Saturday night...

Neal’s 4 Assists Help Pittsburgh Route Nashville 5-1 in Radulov’s Return

Photo Caption: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar The much-anticipated return of Alexander Radulov had the eyes of the hockey world fixated on Pittsburgh tonight as the Predators took on the Penguins in a possible preview of the Stanley Cup Finals. Unfortunately it was Sidney Crosby and his crew that showed why they are arguably the Cup favorites at this point. Behind James Neal’s 4 assists...

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Nashville Predators – Game 73

Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (45-21-6) vs. Nashville Predators (42-23-8) Where: Consol Energy Center When: 7:00 PM EST Channels: NHLN-US, ROOT Sports It goes without saying that this is a big game.  EVERY GAME AT THIS POINT IS HUGE. The Penguins are currently 25-8-2 at home.  The more games they can play at Consol in the playoffs [...]

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators – Game 74

Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (46-21-6) vs. Ottawa Senators (37-28-10) Where: Scotiabank Place When:  7:00 PM EST Channels:  CBC, ROOT Sports It’s very hard to expect a team that is 14-0-1 to just keep on winning, but that’s what the Penguins have to do.  They control their own destiny, all they have to do is win out. [...]

Richard Cloutier: Word!

I apologize for the lack of Oilers/Florida blog last night. My day job keeps getting in the way of my hobby farm. Here's some random thoughts: Word! - Evgeni Malkin. The only reason he's having the season he is is because at the beginning of the season, I said in a blog he was a Top 10 player in the NHL, but wasn't a Top 5 player. Thanks for making me look stupid...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.