for this game

Malkin, Thibault keep Pittsburgh red-hot

Feb 19, 2007 - 2:05 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- With all the focus on the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, Evgeni Malkin and Jocelyn Thibault stole the show.

Malkin scored a tough-angle shot in the second period and Thibault turned aside 29 shots as the Penguins continued their sizzling play with a 3-2 victory over the Capitals.

Mark Recchi and Maxime Talbot also scored for Pittsburgh, which won its sixth consecutive game and captured a point in its 16th straight game, closing two shy of the franchise record set in 1992-93.

The Penguins also recorded their eighth straight win at home.

"Right now, the good part about it is that it's not just at home, we play that well on the road, too," Talbot said. "We get the lead and it's always hard for teams to come back because we've got a lot of speed and everybody's sticking to the system right now. It's a great feeling and it's fun to be a part of."

Arguably having as strong a rookie year as either Ovechkin - the reigning Calder Trophy winner - or Crosby did last season, Malkin continued to impress by recording his 29th goal in 54 games this season.

"He's a good player who is going to win rookie of the year and he's only going to get better," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "It's the same thing that we had with Ovechkin."

The 20-year-old left wing snapped a 1-1 tie late in the closing minutes of the second period, beating Washington goaltender Brent Johnson over the left shoulder with a impressive shot from the right corner.

"I think it was a little bit of a lucky goal from that angle," Malkin said through an interpreter. "We need to shoot more pucks. We didn't shoot enough.

"Probably one of the best goals, yes."

Carrying the puck from the behind the net, Malkin passed the puck out to defenseman Sergei Gonchar up the right wing. He quickly got a pass back and ripped a lefthanded one-timer that Johnson did not appear ready for.

"He's a special player and I'm sure he sees the ice differently than everybody," Gonchar said. "I'm sure nobody in the building expected he would shoot from that kind of angle, including the goalie. He saw the opportunity and took advantage of it."

"It was a perfect shot; you don't teach those things," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said. "He gave us some life with that goal."

Talbot extended the lead to 3-1 on his ninth goal 70 seconds into the third, and Thibault made sure that advantage held up despite some tight moments.

Making his first appearance since January 27, Thibault recorded 13 saves in the final stanza to pick up just his third win in 10 decisions this season (3-5-2).

"It was nice to get a win here at home against a good team and it does a lot for my confidence to participate in the winning streak," he said.

Washington, which fell to 2-5-2 in its last nine games, had a golden opportunity to cut into the two-goal deficit when Alexander Semin was taken down on a breakaway by Pittsburgh defenseman Robert Scuderi with 5:56 remaining. On the ensuing penalty shot, Thibault was caught out of position but Semin's backhanded shot hit the crossbar.

"I got lucky, I was nowhere near that puck," Thibault said. "It just felt like he had me.

"I heard the post and I heard peoples' reaction so then I knew it was not in. And that was big because it would have been 3-2 with five or six minutes left in the game."

That miss only became more important when Semin poked in a loose puck between the legs of Thibault on a 6-on-5 advantage with 44 seconds left.

"I think everybody's a little upset that the scoring chances that we had we didn't score on," Capitals right wing Dainius Zubrus. "Our defense did a great job but we just didn't score (enough) goals."

Crosby finished with an assist on Recchi's power-play goal in the first period, giving him a point in his last four games.

Ovechkin went without a point despite unleashing five shots, the third time he has been held scoreless in his last six games.

"When Ovechkin gets one goal in seven games, it's tough to win those games," Hanlon said. "Don't mistake that, it's not his fault that we're not winning, but if you ask where the offense has gone, he's a big part of that."

Selected second behind Ovechkin in the 2004 draft, Malkin was took quite a bit of joy in edging against his Russian counterpart.

"Yes, of course I enjoy playing against him, especially when we win the games and he's getting pretty mad," Malkin said.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1 2
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) MARK RECCHI 20 (SERGEI GONCHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY)
    5:59
    WAS - RICHARD ZEDNIK 6 (JEFF SCHULTZ, DONALD BRASHEAR) 7:04
    2ND PRD: PIT - EVGENI MALKIN 29 (SERGEI GONCHAR, MICHEL OUELLET)
    18:44
    3RD PRD: PIT - MAXIME

    Feb 18 6:00 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    PITTSBURGH 3
    3RD PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 31 (MATT PETTINGER, BOYD GORDON) 19:16

    Capitals vs. PenguinsFeb 18 5:59 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots

    Capitals vs. PenguinsFeb 18 5:59 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    PITTSBURGH 3
    3RD PRD: PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 9 (COLBY ARMSTRONG, ERIK CHRISTENSEN)
    1:10

    Capitals vs. PenguinsFeb 18 5:27 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) MARK RECCHI 20 (SERGEI GONCHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY)
    5:59
    WAS - RICHARD ZEDNIK 6 (JEFF SCHULTZ, DONALD BRASHEAR) 7:04
    2ND PRD: PIT - EVGENI MALKIN 29 (SERGEI GONCHAR, MICHEL OUELLET)
    18:44
    SHOTS ON

    Feb 18 5:06 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    PITTSBURGH 2
    2ND PRD: PIT - EVGENI MALKIN 29 (SERGEI GONCHAR, MICHEL OUELLET) 18:44

    Capitals vs. PenguinsFeb 18 5:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) MARK RECCHI 20 (SERGEI GONCHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY)
    5:59
    WAS - RICHARD ZEDNIK 6 (JEFF SCHULTZ, DONALD BRASHEAR) 7:04
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 9

    Feb 18 4:15 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - JEFF SCHULTZ 1 (DONALD BRASHEAR, RICHARD ZEDNIK) 7:04

    Capitals vs. PenguinsFeb 18 3:49 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) MARK RECCHI 20 (SERGEI GONCHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY)
    5:59

    Capitals vs. PenguinsFeb 18 3:44 PM