COLUMBUS (KDKA/AP) – The Penguins played without Evgeni Malkin Saturday night in Columbus, but even without the top forward, goals were not difficult to come by in a rout of the Blue Jackets.
Both Sidney Crosby and Paul Martin scored two goals each, and Kris Letang and Mark Letestu both had two assists in the 7-2 win.
Crosby’s two goals extended his point streak to 15 games. He has five goals in two games. The win was the Pens’ ninth straight victory and sixth straight on the road.
The Blue Jackets dropped their fifth in a row, losing by a combined score of 12-2 in a little over 24 hours. They were shut out for the first time this season, 5-0 at Buffalo, on Friday night.
For the Pens, Martin set the tone in the first period as he recorded his second and third goals of the season, both came the power play.
In between Martin’s two tallies, Mike Rupp scored with assists from Eric Godard and Craig Adams.
Crosby’s closed out the scoring in the first period with another power play goal, assisted by Letestu and Letang to give the Penguins a 4-0 lead.
Tyler Kennedy made it 5-0 early in the second period before Samuel Pahlsson scored for the Blue Jackets, spoiling hopes of a shutout for Pens’ goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Fleury made 21 saves in the win, while his teammates chased Columbus’ goalie Steve Mason in the first period. Former Penguin Mathieu Garon made 19 saves in relief.
A second goal from Crosby and an unassisted goal by Deryk Engelland gave the Pens a 7-1 lead by the end of the second period.
The Blue Jackets’ Chris Clark scored early in the third period to close out the scoring. Ethan Moreau had two assists for Columbus.
Malkin was sidelined by a knee injury, but Max Talbot was in the lineup for the Pens a day after a shot bruised his foot in practice.
The Penguins now return to Pittsburgh for a game Monday at 7 p.m. against the New Jersey Devils.