Malkin powers Penguins past Red Wings 4-1

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Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard blocks a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby in the second period in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Pittsburgh has won three in a row and four of five after upending the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Saturday. And that is going to be what defines this Penguins season because right now they are only going as far as Crosby and Malkin can take them as the team continues to find way to replace the scoring depth that left over the summer.

A case could be made that their production has increased as the team's play has improved - a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats sort of argument - but it won't be coming from coach Mike Sullivan.

He scored the overtime victor to beat the Bruins last Sunday in the game before the break started, and he scored again less than four minutes into Saturday's game, converting a Hagelin feed with a shot from the slot. "I dont think we rest on that". Detroit plays at Chicago on Sunday.

"It's always fun when you're winning", Malkin said. "Your game is better, the mood is better, and now we're feeling so much better". That means in the past 10 games the Penguins have only scored five goals when neither Crosby or Malkin is on the ice.

"I think weve felt good about our last couple games going into the break", Crosby said.

"If you look at it, their best players were better than our best players", Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said.

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It's the second straight game the power play has been a big letdown - it went 0-for-4 against Tampa Bay on Sunday, and has produced just two goals the last 27 opportunities, spanning eight games. "Those guys make the players around them better, but we have to give other guys credit as well".

The Wings were on their sixth power play before the game's midpoint, when it was 3-1.

Detroit had just one power-play goal in its previous seven games entering Saturday's contest. Under is 3-0-1 in Penguins last 4 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game and Penguins are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record and under is 4-1-1 in Penguins last 6 games following a win.

Aaron Calixte scored 16 points, Danny Evans 14 and Andrew Fleming 12 for ME while Ilija Stojiljkovic had 10 rebounds. Malkin is elite when healthy (knock on wood), so savor this run.

Crosby's third-period power-play goal off a pass from Kessel gave Pittsburgh a three-goal lead.

"I think it's nice to get rewarded, feel good about our game and know what it looks like to have that consistency", Crosby said. "We're going to go as they go, and they're so dynamic when they're on the top of their game and they're so risky in every aspect of their game". Turgeon was drafted by the Red Wings in the third round in 2014 and has not yet played in an National Hockey League game. The Penguins scratched D Ian Cole, while F David Booth and D Xavier Ouellet sat for the Red Wings.