When the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night, it looked like fans were in for a blowout.
The Canucks got off to a rapid start, as Conor Garland, Brock Boeser, and Quinn Hughes scored the first three goals of the game less than three minutes apart. Given Pittsburgh’s recent struggles, it was a start that felt potentially insurmountable.
But, as fans have seen this season, Vancouver has not had a lot of success when it has come to maintaining leads, and that was once again the case, as the first period against the Penguins turned out to be far from over.
The Penguins, led by Evgeni Malkin, stormed back against the Canucks.
Evgeni Malkin was the first Pittsburgh skater to cut into the Canucks lead, scoring less than two minutes after his team went down by three goals. Sidney Crosby and Jason Zucker also scored in the opening frame to cap a six-goal period and bring the Penguins back to even.
In period two, it was again Malkin getting things started for the Pens. His 14th goal of the year gave Pittsburgh its first lead of the night and one that it would not relinquish.
Rickard Rakell scored for the Penguins, Travis Dermott scored for the Canucks, and Dustin Tokarski, who replaced Casey DeSmith for the Pens after the third Vancouver goal, slammed the door shut late in the game as the home team emerged victorious.
In total, the two teams combined for 60 shots and nine goals, and what looked like a blowout early turned into a thriller quickly. For the Penguins, this was the second win in a row after a long losing streak. For the Canucks, it was yet another blown lead.
Malkin was unstoppable in this game for the Penguins, as has often been the case throughout his career in the Steel City. The 36-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down as he has scored 14 goals and 25 assists for 39 points in 40 games this year.
As the Canucks continue to search for answers this season, the Penguins will hope that Tuesday’s comeback win gives them the boost necessary to go on another winning streak.