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Evgeni Malkin is the hero as the Penguins keep rolling with shootout win over Flames

Matt Vensel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

PITTBURGH — Evgeni Malkin got the winner as the Penguins beat the Calgary Flames, 2-1, in a shootout Wednesday, in the annual Thanksgiving Eve game at PPG Paints Arena. That extended Pittsburgh’s winning streak to a season-high four games.

Malkin celebrated his goal by gently tossing his stick into the roaring crowd.

Flames second-string goalie Dan Vladar, who was making his first start in 13 days, was stellar with 37 saves during regulation to send the game into overtime.

While the score was deadlocked at 1-1, Vladar stopped Brock McGinn and Jeff Carter on breakaways. The second of the two saves came about five minutes into the third period. Moments later, he stuffed Jason Zucker, alone in front.

The Penguins survived a late penalty, their 13th straight kill in the last five games, to play overtime for the fourth time this season. They lost the first three in OT.

They were unable to capitalize on a 4-on-3 power play at the end of overtime.

 

All and all, this was a respectable effort against one of the best of the West.

The Penguins lost, 4-1, to the Flames in Calgary a month ago. They skated away from that game with great respect for the Flames, a trendy preseason Stanley Cup pick who are now heating up, winning four of five entering Wednesday.

Pittsburgh has played better since then, too. They entered the night with five wins in seven games after losing seven in a row, including that one in Calgary.

A well-placed Jan Rutta wrister gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead 2:09 into the game. The steady defenseman beat Vladar, a fellow Czech native, on his blocker side.

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