EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — A game against the struggling Edmonton Oilers was what the Pittsburgh Penguins needed to get their road trip back on track.
Evgeni Malkin’s tiebreaking power-play goal in the third period lifted the Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the Oilers on Wednesday night.
Patric Hornqvist and Conor Sheary also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins, who had opened their five-game trip with two losses.
“For the whole team, this was a big effort for us,” Hornqvist said. “We all played really hard. We went back to the old school, winning 1-on-1 battles out there. When we do that, we have a good team and, obviously, the power play helped us to win the game.”
Malkin tucked a wrist shot under Cam Talbot’s arm on the man-advantage with 7:37 remaining in the third for the winning goal.
Matt Murray stopped 35 shots, including a big save on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in close with 13 seconds remaining to preserve the win.
“We’re working our tails off every night, that’s not the issue,” Murray said. “It’s just little subtle mistakes here and there, little lapses in judgment and that’s been hurting us. Tonight we tried to stay on our toes and just play an overall solid game, and I think we did that.”
Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl had goals for the Oilers, who have lost four of their last five games. Talbot finished with 27 saves.
“We were right there, the whole game. There wasn’t much separating us,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “If anything, I thought we outplayed them a little bit. Right now it’s kind of tough to swallow.”
Pittsburgh nearly scored eight minutes into the game as Bryan Rust’s shot rang off the crossbar, and was declared a no-goal after a video review.
The Penguins struck on the power play just 56 seconds into the middle period as Hornqvist tipped a puck in front past Talbot for his fourth of the season.
Edmonton tied it up a few minutes later on its own power play. Patrick Maroon sent a backhand pass from behind the net to Nugent-Hopkins, who scored his fifth of the season and 100th of his career.
Less than a minute later, Connor McDavid made a no-look pass to allow Draisaitl to direct the puck into a wide-open net for a 2-1 lead.
Sidney Crosby followed McDavid’s play with a similar pass on a 2-on-1 to set up a goal by Sheary with 22 seconds left in the second.
NOTES: Pittsburgh’s Phil Kessel had two assists, giving him 11 on the season. Kris Letang added two to increase his total to nine. … The Penguins were 2 for 4 on the power play. The Oilers were 1 for 5.
Penguins: At Calgary on Thursday night.
Oilers: Host New Jersey on Friday night.