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Malkin Leads Penguins' Rally in Win

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Evgeni Malkin stole the spotlight from Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

Malkin had an assist on teammate Crosby's goal, tied the score in the third period and then got the game-winner in the shootout to cap the Pittsburgh Penguins' comeback from a four-goal deficit in a 5-4 victory over the Washington Capitals on Monday night.

``Sid was playing really good, and he gave a good pass, and I finished it,'' Malkin, speaking through an interpreter, said of his tying goal.

Malkin, this year's leading rookie, was the star in the much-anticipated matchup between last season's top rookies _ Crosby and the Capitals' Ovechkin.

``I don't feel I have to rescue a franchise or a league,'' Crosby said. ``I'm happy to be part of both, but I think there's a lot of young talent, a lot of guys who can bring excitement besides me and Alex.''

Erik Christensen also scored in the shootout for Pittsburgh, 2-3-1 in its past six games.

Chris Clark had two goals and two assists for the Capitals, who led 4-0 in the second period but couldn't hold on for their sixth win in seven games. Washington, which also got goals from Kris Beech and Brooks Laich, is 0-5 in shootouts this season.

The Penguins stormed back with goals in the middle frame from Maxime Talbot, Christensen and Crosby, who scored for the fourth straight game.

Malkin tied it 3:20 into the third period.

``He's done it a million times, I think,'' Crosby said of Malkin, who teamed with Ovechkin on Russia's Olympic team this year. ``He looks so smooth out there. He does it in practice, and he does it with ease in key situations. One-one-one with a goalie, I like our odds with him.''

In the only other NHL games Monday night, Colorado beat Carolina 5-2 and San Jose shut out Phoenix 4-0.

Ovechkin had the Capitals' only goal in the shootout against Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who turned aside Mike Green and Chris Clark after making 29 saves through overtime.

``It was an unbelievable game to watch,'' Ovechkin said. ``We dominated the first period and 10 minutes of the second period and then just stopped playing.

``Sometimes that happens. Nothing is a lock, you know? We're just disappointed right now.''

Crosby, the runner-up to Ovechkin last season for rookie of the year honors, leads the Penguins with 14 goals and 41 points. He assisted on Malkin's goal but failed to convert in the shootout.

``There's no question there's more emotion, but it's natural for it to be like that,'' Crosby said of facing Ovechkin. ``I don't think guys are adding anything to it than what it is. Everyone knows when it's a bigger stage guys want to rise to the occasion.''

Crosby leads All-Star voting in the Eastern Conference, while Ovechkin is second among forwards.

Avalanche 5, Hurricanes 2

John-Michael Liles and Joe Sakic scored power-play goals in the third period to lift host Colorado.

Andrew Brunette had a goal and two assists, and Tyler Arnason added a goal for the Avalanche, who improved to 11-0-3 in the last 14 meetings with Carolina.

Peter Budaj stopped 26 shots for the Colorado, which had lost four of six. The Avalanche got back on the winning track by going 3-for-5 on the power play.

Justin Williams scored two goals for Carolina, giving him 13 this season. John Grahame stopped 25 shots for the defending Stanley Cup champion Hurricanes, who concluded a winless four-game trip (0-3-1).

Sharks 4, Coyotes 0

Vesa Toskala stopped 23 shots for his third shutout this season, and Joe Pavelski scored for the fifth time in nine games to lead host San Jose.

Milan Michalek, Steve Bernier and Curtis Brown also scored for the Sharks, who beat Phoenix at home for the first time in nearly three years. Toskala made a handful of acrobatic stops to record his seventh career shutout and help the Sharks win at home for the seventh time in eight games.

The Coyotes fell to 3-11 on the road.
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