What's buzzing:
1 -
Team 1 2 3
CLS 0 0 1
PIT 0 1 1

Malkin scores in return, Penguins top Columbus 2-1

AP - Sports

Malkin glides to the net and beats McElhinney

Now watching

Next video starts in : 7 Play

Malkin glides to the net and beats McElhinney

Malkin glides to the net and beats McElhinney
Replay video
Up next

Keith saves a goal late in the third

Keith saves a goal late in the third Up next

Keith saves a goal late in the third

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Evgeni Malkin's favorite running mate is serving a five-game NHL suspension.

No matter. The Pittsburgh Penguins star can handle things by himself when he needs to.

Malkin scored in his return from a lower-body injury, Sidney Crosby added his 16th goal, and the Penguins beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Monday night.

Pittsburgh won its sixth straight home game behind 32 saves by Marc-Andre Fleury and some vintage work by Malkin. The Russian missed Pittsburgh's previous two games after hurting himself in a game-day skate on Thursday.

He appeared to be just fine when he bulled his way toward the Columbus net 4:16 into the second period for his eighth goal of the season. Malkin brushed off defenseman Jack Johnson and then deftly poked a shot past the outstretched stick of goalie Curtis McElhinney.

Not bad for a guy who sometimes struggles when separated from linemate James Neal, who served the first game of the suspension he received for kneeing Boston's Brad Marchand in the head during a loss on Saturday.

''There's no doubt they're good together,'' Crosby said. ''They're both really good players. When they don't have each other, they're capable of making plays, too.''

Crosby pushed his point total to an NHL-best 43 when a centering pass from Pascal Dupuis deflected off Crosby's leg and into the net 8:52 into the third.

''It looked like that was the only way I was going to score tonight the way it was going,'' Crosby said. ''I had some really pretty chances that didn't go in ... that second one ended up being important for us.''

Matt Calvert scored with less than a minute left for Columbus, spoiling Fleury's shutout bid. McElhinney made 28 saves but the Blue Jackets struggled again in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins have won all three meetings this season by a combined score of 9-3.

''You never want to go 0-3 against a division rival,'' Calvert said. ''They're four-point games, and you lose a lot of points in the race.''

Fleury was sharp when tested, though the Penguins did an excellent job of keeping the Blue Jackets from spending too much time in his face.

There were few close calls by the Blue Jackets after the opening 10 minutes. Fleury's only mistake came when he narrowly missed scoring a goal into an empty net with a minute to play, inadvertently sparking a sequence that led to Calvert getting loose for his second goal of the season with 56 seconds remaining.

Pittsburgh, which allowed two goals to Boston in the final minute on Saturday, didn't collapse this time.

''The main thing is we got the win, got the two points,'' Fleury said. ''That's what matters.''

The Blue Jackets are hoping to take a step forward this season after moving over to the Eastern Conference following 13 mostly dismal seasons in the West. Injuries, however, have slowed their development.

Columbus is missing forwards Marion Gaborik and Nathan Horton, defenseman James Wisniewski, and reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky. Gaborik and Bobrovsky are out until after the new year. Horton is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

The Blue Jackets had won three of four, including consecutive shutouts over Tampa Bay and Minnesota, to climb within three games of .500. They controlled play at the outset, controlling the puck for long stretches but had trouble generating solid scoring chances.

''We didn't have clean shooting lanes,'' Columbus coach Todd Richards said. ''They created a lot of second chances, it seems like they created rebounds off Mac's pads, and it seems like our shots were caught or hit (Fleury) in the chest.''

In addition to Neal, the Penguins also played without defensemen Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik and Rob Scuderi. Orpik is sidelined indefinitely after being knocked out by Boston's Shawn Thornton on Saturday.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Monday that Orpik is ''doing quite well'' but issued no timetable for his return.

NOTES: The Blue Jackets scratched Wisniewski, D Tim Erixon and forward Jack Skille. ... Pittsburgh also scratched forward Harry Zolnierczyk and D Brian Dumoulin. ... The Penguins are 8-1 when they have been outshot.

View Comments (11)
  • Two-Minute Minor - Can Tampa Bay win in NYC?

    Two-Minute Minor - Can Tampa Bay win in NYC?

    Yahoo Sports' Greg Whyshynski explains what the Blackhawks and Lightning will need to win on the road in their respective Game 7s. … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 7 minutes ago
  • Dan Bylsma all about Sabres’ success, not shaming Penguins

    Dan Bylsma all about Sabres’ success, not shaming Penguins

    “He’s been through it. He’s a winner. He knows what it takes to get there, and how to perform when he gets there,” said Murray. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 21 minutes ago
  • Sharks hire DeBoer as head coach

    Sharks hire DeBoer as head coach

    (Reuters) - The San Jose Sharks, who failed to make the playoffs this season for the first time since 2003, appointed Peter DeBoer as the franchise's eighth head coach on Thursday. DeBoer, 46, replaces Todd McLellan, whose departure from the team … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 9 minutes ago
  • Former Penguins coach Bylsma takes over in Buffalo

    Former Penguins coach Bylsma takes over in Buffalo

    (Reuters) - Former Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was appointed head coach of the struggling Buffalo Sabres, the National Hockey League team said on Thursday Bylsma, 44, joins the Sabres after spending six seasons in Pittsburgh where he … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 41 minutes ago
  • Jackets ink Goloubef to 2-year extension

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Cody Goloubef to a two-year contract extension through the 2016-17 season, locking him up before he could become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 49 minutes ago