Posted December 17, 2011 on AP on Fox
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Evgeni Malkin had his seventh career hat trick, and the injury-depleted Pittsburgh Penguins peppered two Buffalo Sabres goalies in a 8-3 win on Saturday night. Jason Williams and Simon Despres both scored their first goal with Pittsburgh during the first seven minutes, and James Neal, Deryk Engelland and Chris Kunitz added goals for the Penguins, who had lost four of five. Defenseman Paul Martin (lower-body) didn't play, adding to the list of injured Penguins. Pittsburgh already was without captain Sidney Crosby, top defenseman Kris Letang, center Jordan Staal and six others. Marc-Andre Fleury made 16 saves and became the fourth-youngest goalie to reach 200 NHL victories since 1967, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Thomas Vanek scored for the fifth time in six games, and Luke Adam and Paul Gaustad added third-period goals for Buffalo, which has lost six of nine. Malkin also had two assists, giving him 12 points in five games since Crosby was sidelined again. Malkin moved into 10th place on the Penguins' career assist list with 281. Crosby was placed on the injured list Saturday due to concussion-like symptoms. The move helped create roster space so the Penguins could recall Williams and defenseman Carl Sneep from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. The Penguins had lost three of four since Crosby left the lineup again. He complained of headaches last week in a recurrence of concussion symptoms that sidelined him from Jan. 5 until Nov. 21. Malkin, Pittsburgh's other former NHL scoring champion, has a point in each of the five games Crosby has missed and a goal in four of them. His first on Saturday made it 3-0 less than 10 minutes in, chasing goalie Ryan Miller to the bench. Malkin scored later in the first against backup Jhonas Enroth off a pass that traveled more than 100 feet from Sneep, who made his NHL debut. Pittsburgh built a five-goal lead through two periods, but after the Sabres cut the deficit to 6-3 with goals 1:24 apart midway through the third, Malkin struck on the power play. His 15th of the season led to a shower of hats on the ice. The Penguins scored five times on Miller, who has allowed 12 goals in three games. He returned for the second period, but Enroth played the third. Neal's goal gave him 18 on the season and extended his point streak to five games. Neal, Williams, Engelland and Kunitz each had a goal and an assist, and Matt Niskanen and Alexandre Picard each had two assists. NOTES : Fleury, second in the NHL in wins with 16, is 27 years and 19 days old. Only Grant Fuhr, Martin Brodeur and Tom Barasso were younger when they reached win No. 200. ... Crosby is eligible to come off the injured list at any time because the minimum seven days has passed since he first missed a game. There is no change in his status. ... D Brooks Orpik assisted Malkin's first goal, his 100th career point. ... RW Pascal Dupuis' assist on Engelland's goal was his 300th career point. ... Miller fell to 4-10-3 against Pittsburgh.
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