Playing without Evgeni Malkin, the Pittsburgh Penguins (20-9-1) still won their season-high fifth consecutive game, beating another division leader, the San Jose Sharks, 5-1 in a game played Thursday night at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
The loss for the Pacific Division leaders snapped a six-game winning streak. San Jose is now 19-4-5.
Chris Kunitz scored two goals for Pittsburgh, who tallied four goals in the second period. Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis and Jayson Megna also scored for the Pens. Sidney Crosby, playing in his 500th NHL game, recorded three assists to raise his league-leading point total to 42. Marc-Andre Fleury (16-7-1) was the winning goaltender, stopping an incredible 44 of 45 shots.
Tomas Hertl recorded the only San Jose goal.
Malkin missed the game with what the Penguins described as a “lower body injury” sustained during the team’s Thursday morning skate. In addition, Dupuis left the contest in the second period with an undisclosed problem.
The Penguins will visit the Boston Bruins (18-8-2) on Saturday night. Boston fell from first place in the Atlantic Division on Thursday with their 2-1 loss to the current division frontrunner, Montreal.
The next Penguins broadcast on 96.3 KQW will come on Monday night at 7:00 PM when the Pens host the Columbus Blue Jackets.