Malkin's hat trick rallies Penguins past Canucks

– Another lackluster start left the Pittsburgh Penguins facing a two-goal deficit.

Once again, Evgeni Malkin was there to rally them.

Malkin scored a hat trick to help the Penguins defeat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 on Saturday.

It was the 10th hat trick of his career and first since Feb. 25, 2012. Malkin leads the team with 23 goals and 47 points, and has 19 points in his past 15 games.

"He took some initiative and I thought his actions spoke," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "He brought his game to another level and I thought his intensity level was high."

Sidney Crosby scored an empty-net goal with 1:23 left, giving him a point in a season-best six consecutive games. He has 16 goals this season, and 21 points in his past 16 games.

Jannik Hansen had a hat trick for Vancouver, the second of his career.

Vancouver started quickly after some transportation trouble. The team bus couldn't make it up a hill near the arena, forcing players to walk.

The Canucks said the extra walk didn't factor in their late letdown.

"That had nothing to do with it," Daniel Sedin said.

Associated Press