Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penguins Pick Up Road Win, Nip Oilers Malkin Scores Late on Power Play

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penguins Pick Up Road Win, Nip Oilers Malkin Scores Late on Power Play

Article excerpt

EDMONTON, Alberta - Just imagine the height of the Penguins' collective ceiling if they can ever get the rest of their game to match what has become a truly prolific power play.

Five-on-five play remains a work in progress for the Penguins, although it did make some strides Wednesday in a 3-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place.

Significantly ahead for the Penguins at this point in the season has been a lethal power play, and it bought everything else a little bit of time with another deadly performance away from home.

Patric Hornqvist and Evgeni Malkin scored power-play goals - Malkin's the game-winner in the third period - as the Penguins snapped a two-game losing skid that threatened to sour this road trip.

"It's been producing," Sidney Crosby said of the power play, which has goals in all nine road games this season and is clicking at 30 percent.

"It's good to have that confidence going out there, especially in close games. You want it to be a difference-maker. It's been pretty good since the start of the year. Our challenge will be to consistently produce five-on-five."

Yeah, that.

Sort of an elephant in the room the past week or so.

The Penguins entered this game with just 17 five-on-five goals in 13 games, a horrendous pace and nowhere near where they had been the past two seasons under Sullivan.

Cooperative effort was a big talking point for Sullivan, and the Penguins got that. Hornqvist called the Penguins' approach "a little old-school," basically winning one-on-one battles and digging a little deeper than they had been.

As a result, the Penguins' five-on-five effort against the Oilers was at least passable. Crosby set up Conor Sheary for his team-leading sixth goal at the end of the second period, a marker that got the Penguins feeling good for the third.

"This was a really big effort for us," Hornqvist said. "We all played really hard. We went back to a little old school, winning one-on-one battles out there. When we do that, we have a good team. Obviously the power play helped us win the game. It doesn't really matter tonight. The effort was there. That's what we're looking for. …

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