A blog focusing on the New York Rangers and all things hockey (also Yankees and Giants) with a New York attitude from a fan of 40 years whose greatest highlight came when Mark Messier lifting the Stanley Cup on June 14, 1994
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It has been generally assumed that Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos would be the only the player in the NHL to score 50 goals this season.
But Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin is making a late push to reach that mark even though he has missed eight games due to injury.
Malkin scored his 42nd and 43rd goals in the Penguins' 8-4 win over Winnipeg on Tuesday, giving him five goals in the last four games and 11 during Pittsburgh's 13-game point streak (12-0-1).
Malkin, who increased his league-leading points total to 93 with a five-point night, has 10 games to score seven goals to reach 50. The Russian native registered a career-high 47 in 2007-08, his second season in the NHL when he played in all 82 games.
While the Penguins found themselves in a shootout Tuesday, they displayed the firepower that has fueled their surge over the last month.
James Neal scored a hat trick on Tuesday for the Penguins, who climbed back within a point of the Rangers for first overall in the Eastern Conference after their 11-game winning streak was snapped in Sunday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Flyers.
Even with Sidney Crosby out for the most of the season, Pittsburgh boasts five players who have at least 20 goals. Neal now has 35, Jordan Staal 22 and Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis 21 apiece.
And, oh by the way, Crosby only had four assists Tuesday.
With the way the Penguins have played over the last month, you have to wonder who is going to be able to beat them in the playoffs. They look like a juggernaut.