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Evgeni Malkin, Matt Murray lead Pittsburgh penguins past Canucks

By Shelly Anderson, The Sports Xchange
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Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) taps the puck into the goal behind Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller (30) and scores at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on February 14, 2017. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/b549820d839a778965487b0cc58ddab7/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) taps the puck into the goal behind Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller (30) and scores at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on February 14, 2017. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

PITTSBURGH -- Evgeni Malkin, in a return from injury, had a goal and an assist, and Matt Murray made 29 saves Tuesday as the Pittsburgh Penguins shut out the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 at PPG Paints Arena.

Murray (21-6-2) picked up his third shutout of the season, fourth of his career.

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Malkin, who missed the previous seven games because of a left leg injury, scored in the second period and set up Phil Kessel in the third, and Jake Guentzel and Matt Cullen also scored in the third as the Penguins (35-13-7) extended their streak of games with at least one point to seven, 5-0-2.

Pittsburgh improved to 23-3-3 at home and is the only team without a regulation loss since the NHL All-Star break.

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Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby picked up an assist on Guentzel's goal, giving him 999 career points. Crosby has been within three points of 1,000 for more than a week. Coming into the game, he had gone back-to-back games without a point for the first time in nearly a calendar month.

The Canucks had won two of their past three games. But they were playing without centers Bo Horvat and Brandon Sutter because of injuries they sustained Sunday, and going with seven defensemen. They slipped below .500 at 25-26-6.

Malkin gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 5:16 of the second period. He was stationed at the corner of the crease when a pass from the far boards by Olli Maatta stopped at his skates with goaltender Ryan Miller leaning the other way. Malkin tapped it in for his 23rd goal.

Trevor Daley picked up the secondary assist, the 200th assist of his career.

Murray preserved the one-goal lead when he made a point-blank glove save on Jack Skille at 16:33 of the second.

Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead and Crosby got point No. 999 when he set up Guentzel just in front of the net at 2:27 of the third. On a give-and-go, Guentzel finished a feed from Crosby, who was beside the net.

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Malkin toyed with Miller, holding the puck and deking around a couple of Canucks, paused in the slot and then dished off to Kessel, who gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead at 14:03 of the third.

Cullen pushed it to 4-0 with 1:57 left from beside the net.

NOTES: C Bo Horvat (lower-body injury), Vancouver's leading scorer, and C Brandon Sutter (undisclosed) missed the game after getting banged up Sunday at Buffalo. Sutter participated in the morning skate. Horvat, who did not skate in the morning, is day to day. ... Rookie C Brendan Gaunce slotted in for Horvat and the Canucks dressed Alex Biega as a seventh defenseman. Biega had not played since Jan. 25. ... Vancouver LW Daniel Sedin played in his 1,200th game. ... Pittsburgh C Evgeni Malkin (left leg injury) was activated from IR and returned after missing seven games. ... Penguins LW Carl Hagelin participated in the morning skate wearing a non-contact jersey but is still in the NHL's concussion protocol. ... Pittsburgh LW Conor Sheary (upper-body injury) missed his sixth straight game and continues to skate separately from the team. ... Penguins RW Bryan Rust (upper-body injury) missed his second game and will be out "longer term" but not necessarily for the season, coach Mike Sullivan said. ... The Penguins' healthy scratches were C Eric Fehr and D Chad Ruhwedel. ... Vancouver's healthy scratch was D Philip Larsen.

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