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Malkin lifts Penguins

Alexander Ovechkin didn't do much offensively, a common occurrence lately. Instead, it was the runner-up Russian who created a goal out of nothing, keeping the Pittsburgh Penguins' most successful stretch in 14 years going.

Evgeni Malkin scored a bad-angle goal to give Pittsburgh the lead in another tightly played game against Washington and the streaking Penguins won their sixth in a row, beating the Capitals, 3-2, yesterday in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins have gained at least a point in 16 consecutive games, going 14-0-2 -- their longest run since they won a league-record 17 in a row and tied one to end the 1992-93 season.

The surprise is that NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby, who has 91 points, is slumping with only one goal in 10 games.

Malkin has keyed the Penguins' first playoff run since 2001 with 10 goals and 16 assists in 17 games.

Canucks 5, Avalanche 4 -- Henrik Sedin scored the tiebreaking goal 1:31 into the third period, Brendan Morrison added his second of the game 2:20 later as host Vancouver held off Colorado.

Kings 4, Ducks 3 -- Lubomir Visnovsky scored in the sixth round of a shootout for visiting Los Angeles. LA's Michael Cammalleri had a goal and two assists, and now has 11 goals and 15 assists in his last 19 games.

Stars 5, Sharks 2 -- Mike Ribeiro and Jere Lehtinen each scored two goals, Darryl Sydor added three assists, and Marty Turco made 17 saves to help host Dallas beat San Jose. Sergei Zubov had two assists for the Stars.

Rangers 2, Blackhawks 1-- Martin Straka and Marcel Hossa scored 10 minutes apart in the first period and host New York shook off the loss of injured Brendan Shanahan in beating Chicago.

Blues 5, Wild 3 -- Rookie David Backes scored twice and Jay McClement had a goal and an assist to help host St. Louis beat Minnesota. Manny Legace made 33 saves for the Blues, who have won three in a row.

Canadiens 3, Blue Jackets 2 -- Michael Ryder and Saku Koivu each had a goal and an assist as visiting Montreal ended a season-worst six-game losing streak.