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(Thursday, March 28th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Winnipeg 0
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins didn't have their newest star on the ice, but received a contribution from one of their old ones to pick up yet another victory.
Evgeni Malkin delivered a goal in his return from a nine-game absence, while Tomas Vokoun turned back all 20 shots he faced as the red-hot Penguins ran their winning streak to 14 straight games with a dominating 4-0 decision over the Winnipeg Jets at the CONSOL Energy Center.
Pascal Dupuis scored twice and Chris Kunitz added a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, which made some additional headlines with its blockbuster acquisition of two-time 50-goal scorer Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames in the early-morning hours of Thursday.
Iginla has yet to join his new teammates, with the accomplished veteran forward likely to make his Penguins' debut when Pittsburgh hosts the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Vokoun, pressed into duty with No. 1 goaltender Marc Andre-Fleury injured in Tuesday's 1-0 triumph over Montreal, also notched an assist in addition to recording his 50th career shutout.
"These guys are really special, what they're doing out there," remarked Douglas Murray, another of Pittsburgh's newcomers. The former San Jose defenseman played in his first game with the Penguins since being acquired from the Sharks on Monday.
Al Montoya finished with 39 saves for the Southeast-leading Jets, who entered the matchup of division front-runners having won two straight.
Malkin, out with a shoulder injury sustained at Toronto on March 9, didn't waste much time making his presence felt in his first game back. Camped out near the left post of the Winnipeg goal, the standout center knocked home a well-placed centering feed from James Neal with 1:28 remaining in the opening period to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.
Kunitz put the Penguins in front around 3 1/2 minutes earlier, receiving a no- look back pass from Sidney Crosby near the left circle and whipping a wrister past a defenseless Montoya.
Dupuis potted both his goals, one of which came with Pittsburgh shorthanded, in the following period to place the Jets in a sizeable hole at the second intermission.
An odd-man rush up the ice resulted in his first tally, a one-timer of a delivery from Kunitz 4:12 into the frame that extended the margin to 3-0.
He struck again with teammate Paul Martin in the box late in the period, helped out by a heads-up outlet pass from Vokoun that created a 2-on-1 situation. Dupuis skated up the right side, faked a give to Tanner Glass, then fired the puck by Montoya for a break-breaking score with 1:23 left in the session.
"I think tonight, what gave us problems was their speed through the middle," Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey said afterward. "We were taking away the wall, but they were able to make some plays through the middle. We really weren't able to really cut that off and they attacked with their speed all night."
Winnipeg's best scoring chance came on a 5-on-3 power play that lasted nearly two full minutes during the initial stages of the third period, but the Jets managed only two shots on goal as Pittsburgh successfully killed the penalties off.
"Awesome 5-on-3," said Dupuis of the penalty kill. "You see (Craig) Adams, (Brandon) Sutter, (Matt) Cooke all out there putting their body on the line, blocking big shots. Lots of guts."
The victory was also the Penguins' 11th in a row on home ice, equaling a franchise best established from Jan. 5-Mar. 7, 1991, and 12th straight over the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise in Pittsburgh. The Jets/Thrashers last prevailed in the Steel City on Dec. 27, 2006 ... Crosby ended with two assists and now has accumulated three goals and six helpers during a six-game point streak ... Defenseman Kris Letang was also held out for Pittsburgh after reportedly fracturing his toe in Tuesday's win, with Murray replacing him in the lineup ... Jets forward Andrew Ladd was held without a point in consecutive games for the first time this season. He came into the contest as one of only four players, along with Malkin, Kunitz and Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis, to not be kept off the scoresheet in back-to-back outings.
03/28 23:08:13 ET
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