Evgeni Malkin, held without a goal for nine consecutive playoff games including five this year, recorded his tenth career hat trick Monday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins advanced to the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-3 road victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Malkin’s three goals helped lift the Penguins to a 4-games-to-2 win in their opening round playoff series. Pittsburgh will next face either the New York Rangers or the Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers are leading their series with the Flyers 3-games-to-2 with game six scheduled for Tuesday night in Philadelphia. If a seventh game is needed, it would be played Wednesday night in New York.
Brandon Sutter also scored in Pittsburgh’s win as the Pens opened up a 4-0 lead through two periods. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves to earn the win in goal.
Fedor Tyutin, Artem Anisimov and Nick Folignno scored for Columbus in a span of under five minutes in the third period, but the Blue Jackets were unable to manage the tying goal. Sergei Bobrovsky took the loss.
It was the fifth time in six games in the series in which the final score turned out to be 4-3.