Toronto at Pittsburgh

Recchi's hatter, Malkin's helpers help Pens blow away Leafs

CBS wire reports

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins had made it a goal to hold one of the Eastern Conference's eight playoff spots by the All-Star break.

With an emphatic win in their final game before the five-day league layoff, the Penguins achieved just that.

Mark Recchi scored three consecutive power-play goals and Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists to lead the Penguins to an 8-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Evgeni Malkin had five assists, Sergei Gonchar had three assists and Jarkko Ruutu scored on a penalty shot goal for the Penguins, who moved into a three-way tie for the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

"I'm not going to lie to you; we wanted to get there before the break," Recchi said. "And we got to that goal. Guys were talking about it and paying attention to it. Now we can enjoy our break."

Recchi, who also added an assist, recorded the seventh hat trick of his career in a span of 16:57, starting late in the first period. His most recent was March 4 against Carolina, where he was traded five days later before re-signing with Pittsburgh as a free agent in the offseason.

The Penguins, who enter the All-Star break 3-0-1 in their last four games, were 5-for-10 on the power play.

"We were really into it starting the game and the execution was there with the puck," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said. "The guys stuck to the plan and it was a great team effort."

Toronto's Jeff O'Neill scored the first goal 3:19 into the game on a power play.

But from there it was all Pittsburgh as Jordan Staal scored the first of seven straight goals 1:31 later. He tipped in a pass from Malkin while going hard to the net. Malkin has five goals and seven assists during a five-game point streak.

"I'm feeling much more comfortable right now," said Malkin through a translator. "I feel the size of the ice much better and I'm feeling much more comfortable now."

The Penguins took the lead for good with 11:30 left in the first on Ruutu's penalty shot.

Ruutu, who hadn't scored since the season opener, was pulled off his skates by Carlo Colaiacovo on a breakway against Toronto goalie Andrew Raycroft. On the penalty shot, Ruutu faked a forehand shot to freeze Raycroft before tucking the puck into the net with the backhand.

Recchi made it 3-1 with 2:32 to play in the opening period when Ryan Whitney's centering pass deflected off his skate and into the net.

"It doesn't matter who you play, if you're out there moving your feet and keeping the puck moving forward and not making mistakes," Crosby said, "you're going to get your chances and (tonight) we did a great job putting them in when we got them."

Recchi's second of the game and 13th of the season came midway through the second off a pass from Crosby. His third came at 14:25 of the second from Crosby and Gonchar. That was Recchi's 498th career goal and his 1,306th point in his 1,302nd NHL game.

"I feel great out there," Recchi said. "And obviously when you're getting great passes like that out there, it makes it a little bit easier."

Crosby added a 5-on-3 goal 4:02 into the third against backup goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin, an ex-Penguin, and Michel Ouellet added a power-play goal with 8:52 to play.

Brendan Bell scored a power-play goal for Toronto with 6:16 to play before Ryan Malone -- off a pass from Malkin -- scored his seventh 1:01 later.

"Overall our play was not very good tonight," Toronto captain Mats Sundin said. "I thought the first five minutes we played well. We looked good at the beginning tonight because we knew how important this game was for us. (But) we took too many penalties, and Pittsburgh took advantage of it."

The Penguins matched their season-high in goals -- done twice against Philadelphia -- and the six-goal margin of victory matches the 8-2 Pittsburgh win over the Flyers Oct. 28. The Maple Leafs also have 50 points to join the Rangers and Penguins in a tie for eighth.

"The only good thing about this is today is that we'll get off the plane and take a little break," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said.


  • Pittsburgh is 3-for-4 on penalty shots this season. RW Nils Ekman scored Dec. 7 against the Rangers, Staal converted one Oct. 21 versus Columbus and Staal's attempt was saved by the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist Nov. 25.
  • Ouellet has a five-game point streak, Recchi has a four-game point streak and Whitney has an assist in each of his last five contests.
  • Toronto had won seven in a row in Pittsburgh until a 4-1 defeat here Dec. 29.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Seven-time All-Star Mark Recchi (hat trick) isn't Dallas-bound, but is helping out the young Pens.  (AP)
Seven-time All-Star Mark Recchi (hat trick) isn't Dallas-bound, but is helping out the young Pens. (AP)
Toronto (22-21-6)1012
Pittsburgh  (21-17-8) «3238
Three Stars
M. Recchi

Goals: 3
Assist(s): 1
E. Malkin

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 5
S. Crosby

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2

Related Video

April 9, 2017
2017 NHL Playoff Picture (1:08)
Scoring Summary
03:19Power Play - Jeff O'Neill (16), Slap Shot - Assists: Pavel Kubina, Matt Stajan
04:50Jordan Staal (15), Slap Shot - Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Michel Ouellet
08:26Jarkko Ruutu (2), Penalty Shot - Unassisted.
17:28Power Play - Mark Recchi (12), Tip-In - Assists: Ryan Whitney, Evgeni Malkin
11:08Power Play - Mark Recchi (13), Slap Shot - Assists: Sidney Crosby, Sergei Gonchar
14:25Power Play - Mark Recchi (14), Slap Shot - Assists: Sidney Crosby, Sergei Gonchar
04:02Power Play - Sidney Crosby (24), Slap Shot - Assists: Sergei Gonchar, Evgeni Malkin
11:08Power Play - Michel Ouellet (9), Tip-In - Assists: Ryan Whitney, Evgeni Malkin
13:44Power Play - Brendan Bell, Tip-In - Unassisted.
14:36Ryan Malone (7), Slap Shot - Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Mark Recchi
Penalty Summary
01:39Welch: Tripping - 2 min.
09:16Kilger: Interference with goal tender. - 2 min.
11:09Stajan: Hooking - 2 min.
12:46Malkin: Interference - 2 min.
16:36Kaberle: Holding - 2 min.
19:39Malkin: Cross Check - 2 min.
09:38McCabe: Interference - 2 min.
13:23Sundin: High sticking - 2 min.
14:10Gill: Slashing - 2 min.
17:14Ruutu: Hooking - 2 min.
19:43Malone: Hooking - 2 min.
02:38O'Neill: Unsportsmanlike Conduct - 2 min.
02:38Green: Hooking - 2 min.
02:38O'Neill: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
05:22Thorburn: Fighting - 5 min.
05:22McCabe: Fighting - 5 min.
06:04Talbot: Hooking - 2 min.
06:42Antropov: Hooking - 2 min.
06:55Ouellet: Hooking - 2 min.
10:52Gill: Roughing - 2 min.
12:15Thorburn: Fighting - 5 min.
12:15Gill: Fighting - 5 min.
12:51Ouellet: Hooking - 2 min.
15:08Orpik: Roughing - 4 min.
15:08Orpik: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
15:08McCabe: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
15:08McCabe: Roughing - 2 min.
15:11Talbot: Fighting - 5 min.
15:08Antropov: Interference - 2 min.
15:11Belak: Spearing(major) - 5 min.
15:11Green: Fighting - 5 min.
15:11Belak: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
18:57Ruutu: Hooking - 2 min.
Jean-Sebastien Aubin20:0063
Andrew Raycroft39:50165
Marc-Andre Fleury59:52262
Game Information
Attendance - 17132
Referees - Dennis LaRue, Chris Rooney
Linesmen - Michel Cormier, Mark Shewchyk
Other Games
Phi 3 Final
NJ 4
Fla 4 Final
Wash 1
Atl 3 Final
Ott 3 Final
Bos 0
Buf 3 Final
Mon 4
Chi 3 Final
Nash 6
TB 6 Final
Car 5
Dal 2 Final
Min 1
Det 1 Final
Colo 3
Cal 4 Final
Edm 0
Pho 3 Final
LA 2
StL 1 Final
SJ 0