Malkin’s 4-point game helps the Penguins overcome the early deficit to beat Canucks

Evgeni Malkin scored two goals and added two assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins roared back from an early deficit and drove 5-4 past the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

Malkin’s 28th career four-point game — the fourth most among all active players — helped reignite the Penguins after Pittsburgh spotted the Canucks by three goals. Malkin kicked off the comeback with Pittsburgh’s first power-play goal in almost two weeks, giving the Penguins the lead after running quite a back and forth with Jason Zucker.

Zucker, Sidney Crosby and Rickard Rakell also scored for Pittsburgh, who have won back-to-back after a six-game losing streak. Dustin Tokarski came in after Casey DeSmith was drawn 7:05 in the first period. Tokarski made 18 saves, his first win since April while he was playing for Buffalo.

Conor Garland, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes scored during a 2:19 span of the first period to go after DeSmith. Travis Dermott drew the Canucks to one goal by 7:08, but Vancouver couldn’t get a tie despite losing for the fifth time in six games. Spencer Martin made 31 stops but couldn’t resist Pittsburgh’s emphatic response to drop his fourth straight start.

Pittsburgh erased the deficit at the end of an opening period in which they fired 20 shots at Martin. Three of them slipped through, a one-timer from Malkin, a pretty forward from a Brian Dumoulin feed from Crosby, and a snap of Zucker after a faceoff win from Malkin.

The frantic pace eased in the second half, but Malkin put the Penguins ahead at the end of a nifty sequence in which he stole an outlet pass at the Vancouver blue line, fed it on to Zucker and then shot into the net. Zucker handed it back to Malkin as he walked over in front of Martin.

Tokarski brilliantly saved Elias Pettersson after Pettersson broke in on a breakaway alone outnumbered. The game went on and seconds later Rakell laid down his 14th of the season by lunging for a rebound to make it 5-3.

Penguins defense attorney Kris Letang remains in Montreal following the death of his father Claude Fouquet earlier this month. Letang’s teammates traveled to Montreal on Monday to attend Fouquet’s funeral following a win in Arizona on Sunday night.

“He’s been in this organization for a long time, so I think it was the least we could do [pay] back for everything he did for us and is still doing for us,” said Pittsburgh defense attorney Pierre-Olivier Joseph.

Only Crosby (37), Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (32), and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (30) have more four-point games among active players than Malkin. Crosby’s goal earned him 1,456 career points, tied with Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne for 17th on the NHL all-time list.

Next up, the Canucks visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. Penguins host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

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