Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Picking Up the Trash Malkin Labels Winning Goal 'Garbage;' Teammates Don't

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Picking Up the Trash Malkin Labels Winning Goal 'Garbage;' Teammates Don't

Article excerpt

Evgeni Malkin jokingly called his second-period goal Thursday "garbage."

There's a good chance his teammates would pick a different word.

Crucial?

Impactful?

Series-saving?

OK, let's not get carried away.

But Malkin's diving effort on the power play put the Penguins ahead for good in their 3-1 victory against the Washington Capitals in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at PPG Paints Arena.

It brought about a humorous explanation from Malkin himself - using the word "garbage" and saying it "wasn't a great goal" - but it also delivered a weird sense of parallelism in this series.

Two games in Washington. One win for each. Jake Guentzel can't seem to stop scoring. Tom Wilson can't seem to stop clobbering people. A controversial replay review occurs.

Same deal as this series shifted back to Pittsburgh, and it was the Penguins coming out on the good end of a replay review.

"It's not a great goal," Malkin said of diving to swat a loose puck past Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby at 17:31 of the third period. "It's a garbage goal for me.

"We played like it was Game 7 [Thursday]. Everyone was unbelievable."

The win ensures the Penguins will go to Washington for Game 5 Saturday not facing elimination.

"I think we all knew we had to get this one, especially on home ice," Guentzel said.

The Penguins got it, of course, and the winning goal came courtesy of Malkin, who began this series on the shelf with a lower-body injury.

T.J. Oshie put the Penguins on the power play by taking an interference penalty.

"I shot us there in the foot with that penalty," Oshie said. "I think that was kind of the turning point in the game, when they got that goal there when I was in the box."

Before the goaltender interference wheel was spun, the frame-by-frame analysis took place on Malkin's goal; finally, an angle was available that showed the puck clearly over the line, no funky geometry necessary.

While all this was happening, Malkin skated over to the bench, where Sidney Crosby had a message.

"[Crosby] looked at the replay on the bench," Malkin explained. "He told me it should be a good goal because it crossed the red line."

Crosby, of course, was right. Meanwhile, the Capitals weren't terribly pleased. They thought that Patric Hornqvist interfered with goaltender Braden Holtby - and defenseman Brooks Orpik did not push Hornqvist into Holtby.

"We felt that Orpik didn't push him in," Washington coach Barry Trotz said. "He was already in there when he made contact. That's how we viewed it."

The officials, of course, did not agree, and Penguins fans who packed the place got to cheer again.

It provided the key margin, and it held up, in part anyway, because Guentzel was once again spectacular.

He scored from in tight midway through the second and added an empty-netter late, giving him 10 goals in 10 playoff games this year and stretch his current playoff point streak to eight games. …

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