ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins began their West Coast road trip with a milestone night.
Malkin had two assists to become the third player in franchise history to reach 1,200 career points as the Penguins set a franchise road record with 59 shots on goal in a 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph had two goals and an assist to tie a career high with three points. Kasperi Kapanen and Bryan Rust each had a goal and an assist while Jeff Carter and Jake Guentzel also scored.
”I thought it was a pretty dominant performance,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. ”We had the puck a lot and generated a numerous amount of scoring chances.”
Malkin reached his milestone with the primary assist on Rust’s goal at 10:04 of the third period, which put Pittsburgh up 5-1. He joined Mario Lemieux (1,723) and Sidney Crosby (1,472) as the only Penguins players to reach that mark.
”I don’t want to say it’s just numbers, but it’s huge,” Malkin said. ”It’s a big number and I’m trying to keep going.”
Malkin also is the fourth active player in the league to reach 1,200 points, behind Crosby, Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin (1,464) and Chicago’s Patrick Kane (1,214). It was Malkin’s seventh multi-point game in his last 11. He has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) during that span.
”He’s such a dominant player. The way he protects pucks, his vision, his offensive instincts. And when he’s playing that way it poses a huge challenge for our opponents from a matchup standpoint,” Sullivan said.
Casey DeSmith made 28 saves for the Penguins, who had 10 players record at least a point.
Mason McTavish had a goal and an assist while Trevor Zegras and John Klingberg also scored for the Ducks, who had a five-game point streak snapped. John Gibson made a franchise-record 53 saves.
”We played a hesitant game,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. ”And for a good part of that game, I thought we stood in awe of some of their players.”
Joseph came into the game with two goals this season and three goals in 66 career games before finding the back of the net twice. The third-year defenseman put Pittsburgh on the board nine minutes into the first with a snap shot from the point that went in off the near post.
Joseph then extended the lead to 4-1 at 14:55 of the second period when he took a pass from Evgeni Malkin and beat Gibson on his blocker side.
”I think it was opportunities created by our forwards in front of me where I had the chance to put it in,” said Joseph, who became the fifth Penguins defenseman age 23 or younger to record a multi-goal game in the past 30 years.
Anaheim trailed 3-1 after the first period after it was outshot 25-8 in the first 20 minutes. The huge disparity in shots was due to the Ducks racking up 5:39 with the man advantage in the first period.
”I think it was a little self-inflicted, the whole game, but obviously when it’s self-inflicted and you’re chasing from behind to start the game, it’s always tough,” Klingberg said.
Zegras tied it at 1 at 15:26 of the first when he scored two seconds into Anaheim’s power play.
Adam Henrique won the faceoff in the offensive zone and chipped it to Zegras, who beat DeSmith with a backhand goal. Zegras has 19 goals this season, including four on the power play.
Crosby extended his points streak to nine games with an assist on Guentzel’s goal. Crosby has three goals and 11 assists during his run.
Penguins: Remain in Southern California to face the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
Ducks: At Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday afternoon.
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