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Malkin, Fleury lead Penguins over Thrashers

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Evgeni Malkin notched a hat trick, Sidney Crosby added a goal and two assists and the Penguins beat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-2. Marc-Andre Fleury won his second consecutive start, stopping 34 of 36 shots.

Penguins 4 - Thrashers 2

Phillips Arena, Atlanta

If the Penguins are going anywhere this season, they will need Marc-Andre Fleury and Evgeni Malkin to be at their best. The Pens got just that as Fleury won his second straight start and Malkin netted his fifth career hat trick in a 4-2 win over the Thrashers in Atlanta. Sidney Crosby added another goal and the Pens won their sixth road game of the year. Most importantly, the Penguins were able to win consecutive games for the first time in November.


The Thrashers got on the board first as defenseman Brent Sopel netted his first of the year. In the second period, Malkin scored his first of the game and fifth of the year to knot the game at one. In the third, Crosby scored his 12th just 2:41 into the period to give the Pens the lead, and two minutes later, Malkin's second of the game--on the power play--extended the Penguins' lead to 3-1. Niclas Bergfors scored his fifth to pull Atlanta within one, but Malkin's empty netter sealed the game.


: PGH- Malkin 3 (7), Crosby (12); ATL- Sopel (1), Bergfors (5).

Assists: PGH- Crosby 2, Arron Asham, Kris Letang, Deryk Engelland, Paul Martin and Matt Cooke; ATH- Alex Burmistrov 2. Evander Kane and Anthony Stewart.

Special Teams: PP- 1 for 5; PK- 5-5.


Fleury won consecutive starts for the first time since the Ottawa playoff series last year. Despite allowing the first goal of the game, the net minder settled in and made the routine saves, but also some flashy saves to keep the Pens in the game until the offense took over. He finished with 31 saves on 33 shots. Atlanta's Ondrej Pavelec played well early, but the third period was his downfall. He wound up making 24 saves on 27 shots.


The Pens return home to face their division rival New York Rangers for the first time this season on Monday night.

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