Malkin scores in OT, Penguins beat Wild 4-3

Mar 31, 2022, 8:15 AM | Updated: 9:25 pm

Minnesota Wild's Joel Eriksson Ek (14) looks for a pass as Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (71) ...

Minnesota Wild's Joel Eriksson Ek (14) looks for a pass as Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (71) defends during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 31, 2022, in St. Paul, Minn. The Penguins won 4-3 in overtime with a goal by Malkin. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Evgeni Malkin scored 3:57 into overtime and Rickard Rakell had two goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins halted Minnesota’s seven-game winning streak Thursday night with a 4-3 victory over the Wild.

Jake Guentzel added his 32nd goal of the season for Pittsburgh. Rakell has three goals in six games since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks for three players and a second-round draft choice.

Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith made 28 saves.

Pittsburgh moved one point behind the idle New York Rangers for second in the Metropolitan Division. First-place Carolina, which beat Montreal 4-0 on Thursday, is six points ahead of the Penguins.

“I thought we showed really good resilience,” DeSmith said after his team squandered a 3-1 lead. “Obviously, tie game in the third, I thought we did a great job bouncing back, not letting the momentum get away from us. I thought we carried it in overtime, which is great, great to see. Star players stepped up for us.”

Kirill Kaprizov scored his 38th goal for Minnesota to tie the franchise record for points in a season with 83. Matt Dumba and Frederick Gaudreau also scored for the Wild, who wrapped up a nine-game homestand — longest in team history — by going to OT for the fourth time in the last five games.

Minnesota was an NHL-best 7-0 in overtime coming in.

“We really liked our resilience and our push back,” coach Dean Evason said. “It would have been easy to fold at 3-1 for sure. And guys just kept doing the right things. Didn’t lose their composure like us coaches, probably. And, you know, we were able to get a point.”

Cam Talbot stopped 35 shots for Minnesota, which is second in the Central Division, four points ahead of St. Louis.

Rakell scored for the second time in three games just 1:06 in. His second goal of the game and 19th of the season came midway through the second period on a 2-on-1 break. Sidney Crosby waited patiently and stayed wide before passing across Talbot to Rakell, who lifted the puck up high.

Down 3-1, the Wild responded.

They had an apparent goal by Jordan Greenway taken away after a video review showed Minnesota was offside on the play. The Wild answered just 14 seconds later as Gaudreau scored his 10th of the season.

Kaprizov tied the game 1:02 into the third after Ryan Hartman won a battle for a loose puck behind the net and fed Kaprizov racing down the middle of the ice.


Kaprizov matched Marian Gaborik (2007-08) for the most points in a season in franchise history. Kaprizov had 14 goals in 16 games in March, setting a club record for a calendar month.

The sophomore’s 38 goals are tied with Gaborik (2005-06) for the third-most in team history. Gaborik in 2007-08 and Eric Staal in 2017-18 each scored 42.

“He never seems to score an insignificant point or goal,” Talbot said of Kaprizov. “He always gets us back in the game, ties the game late, scores the OT winner. … He comes to play when the game is on the line. That’s why he’s a superstar.”


Penguins winger Jason Zucker returned to the lineup after missing 30 games due to core muscle surgery. But he left in the second period and didn’t return after crashing hard into the boards. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan didn’t have an update on Zucker’s condition after the game.

“I feel for him,” Sullivan said. “He’s worked so hard to get back to this point. I know this was an important game for him coming back to Minnesota where he spent a lot of his career.”

Pittsburgh wasn’t the only team welcoming Zucker back. It was his first game back in Minnesota as an opponent after he played the first nine years of his career for the Wild and scored 132 goals.

Zucker was activated off long-term injured reserve before the game and forward Brock McGinn was placed on the long-term injured reserve list.


Dumba scored on the power play in the first period after a video review showed the puck crossed the line before Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang sent it clear. It was the first power-play goal from a Minnesota defenseman in 66 games this season.


Letang got his 500th career assist on Guentzel’s goal. He became the sixth active defenseman and 33rd in NHL history to reach the mark. Only Erik Karlsson (820 games) reached the plateau quicker than Letang, who played in his 928th game.


Penguins: Play at Colorado on Saturday.

Wild: Start a four-game road trip Saturday at Carolina.


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Malkin scores in OT, Penguins beat Wild 4-3