Penguins slow Kings to crawl
Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and the surging Pittsburgh Penguins made quick work of the Kings in a 4-1 victory Friday night.
Malkin and Crosby each had a goal and an assist, and Tyler Kennedy and Bill Guerin added goals for Pittsburgh.
The Penguins, tied with Philadelphia for fourth in the Eastern Conference, have won three straight to improve to 12-1-3 under interim Coach Dan Bylsma.
The game was decided in the first period, when Malkin and Crosby scored to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead.
“Los Angeles is a team that works hard on the road,” Crosby said. “It was important for us to get the lead. We did that and kept it.”
Michal Handzus scored a goal and Jonathan Quick made 22 saves for the Kings, who are 1-1 on a six-game trip. They beat Boston in overtime Thursday night.
“We battled and fought hard, but we just didn’t have it today,” Quick said.
Handzus scored a five-on-three power-play goal, his 17th of the season, with 12:33 left in the game.
“When you’re down 4-0, you have to keep working at your game, and that is really important when you’re in that situation,” Kings Coach Terry Murray said. “We’re a young club that has to figure that out.”
The Kings finished one for eight on the power play.
Malkin leads the NHL with 104 points on 33 goals and 71 assists.
Crosby, with 94 points, passed Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for second place.
Kennedy and Guerin scored 2:23 apart in the second period to give Pittsburgh a 4-0 lead.
Bylsma, a former Kings player who was coaching against Los Angeles for the first time, was happy with his team’s aggressive play.
“This was a game where it didn’t matter if it was Los Angeles, Boston, or Philadelphia,” he said. “We needed to focus on playing the right way. It was good to see us come out and play the right way.”
The Penguins have killed 39 of 42 penalties over their last nine games and are 7-0-2 in that span.
“It’s disappointing to let that one up, but it is five on three,” Bylsma said. “For the rest of the game, our penalty kill was strong.”