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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, January 7th (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (31-12-1) at Vancouver Canucks (23-13-8), 10 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Evgeni Malkin and James Neal have combined for 78 points in 57 games this season.

Imagine if they had both been healthy all campaign long.

The potent Penguins look to deal the Vancouver Canucks a fifth straight loss on Monday night as the two clubs clash for the second and final time this regular season.

Pittsburgh is leading the Eastern Conference with 63 points as it has been able to overcome a number of injuries this season. One of the most recent was to Malkin, who sat out nine straight games with a lower-body injury before returning in Sunday's 6-5 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

Though understandably tired afterwards, Malkin didn't miss a beat by logging a pair of goals and an assist. That gave the forward 11 goals and 44 points in just 33 games this season.

"Tough game for me. I'm a little bit tired, but thanks to my linemates. They did a great job. Most of the time we were in the offensive zone," said Malkin.

"I missed lots of game. I'm excited to be back and just have fun."

Neal certainly enjoyed Malkin's return, notching two goals and an assist himself. Neal has 16 goals and 34 points in 24 games this season, missing 15 earlier in the campaign with a lower-body injury before sitting out another five in early December due to a suspension.

Matt Niskanen had the go-ahead goal in Sunday's win and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 saves. Kris Letang returned from a 10-game absence caused by an elbow issue and had an assist.

Pittsburgh won for the fourth time in its last five games and for the 12th time in a row at home to match a club record. The Pens will have to wait to try and set a new mark as their next three are on the road.

The triumph was Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma's 232nd career win, tying him with Eddie Johnson for the most victories in franchise history as well.

The Canucks will try to delay Bylsma becoming the Pens' all-time wins leader and avoid a fifth loss in a row. They are 0-2-2 in their past four, the second-longest losing stretch of the season behind just an 0-3-2 skid from Nov. 9-19.

Vancouver faded on Sunday versus the Anaheim Ducks, giving up a game-tying goal with under two minutes to go in the third period and then the overtime winner in a 4-3 setback with 0.6 seconds left in overtime.

The Canucks were outshot 24-8 over the final two periods and overtime.

"We've beaten ourselves a little bit. We've had a lot of struggles in a lot of different areas the past couple of games. We have to keep our heads and keep on working at our game," said Canucks coach John Tortorella.

Henrik Sedin recorded a goal and two assists, while Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa scored for Vancouver. Daniel Sedin finished with three assists and Eddie Lack did his best with 45 saves.

Lack got the start after Roberto Luongo got hurt in a collision in net versus the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Luongo had just returned from a brief three-game absence caused by a lower-body injury.

It is unknown how long Luongo will be out and Lack is likely to get the start tonight, his first versus the Penguins.

Pittsburgh has won its last three versus Vancouver, the last two in a shootout. That includes a 4-3 home win on Oct. 19 in the first of two meetings this season.

Malkin had the winner in the third round and Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists as Fleury made 36 saves.

Luongo turned aside 25 shots in the setback.

01/07 11:08:03 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
NYY 2
BAL 10
Final
TAM 6
BOS 9
Final
MIA 1
HOU 1
Final
MIN 7
PHI 1
Final
DET 4
STL 3
Final
PIT 8
TOR 3
Final
TOR 3
ATL 5
Final
NYM 10
WAS 2
Final
CIN 9
CHC 5
Final
MIL 2
CLE 3
Final
CHC 18
COL 4
Final
CWS 4
OAK 10
Final
TEX 2
SDP 3
Final
SEA 8
SFG 9
Final
ARI 5
KAN 10
Final
ANA 4
LOS 5
1:05pm Today
PHI
DET
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
HOU
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
BAL
 
3:10pm Today
ANA
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
KAN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
CLE
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
LOS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
MIL
 
4:05pm Today
SDP
SEA
 
4:05pm Today
LOS
TEX
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CHI 111
NYK 80
Final
MIL 95
GSW 108
Final
UTA 94
OKC 89
4th
POR 120
DEN 114
 
12:30pm Today
WAS
HOU
 
3:30pm Today
BRK
LAL
 
4:00pm Today
NOP
MIN
 
4:30pm Today
CLE
PHI
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
DET
 
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
LAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
SAN
MEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
OKC
 
Final
WISC 85
ARZ 78
Final
YALE 78
CAN 73
Final
KENT 68
ND 66
2:20pm Today
LOU
MSU
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
WAS 3
NAS 4
Final
NYI 2
ANA 3
Final
PIT 3
ARI 2
Final
BOS 4
NYR 2
Final
PHI 2
SJS 3
Final
DET 4
TAM 0
Final
MON 3
FLA 2
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
Final
TOR 4
OTT 3
Final
STL 2
CLB 4
Final
MIN 4
LOS 1
Final
COL 5
BUF 3
3rd
VAN 2
DAL 2
 
3:00pm Today
NYR
WAS
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:00pm Tonight
NAS
CAL
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
DET
 
5:00pm Tonight
OTT
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
WIN
CHI
 
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
SJS