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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
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
Final
WAS 102
ATL 106
 
Final
MIA 97
GSW 114
 
4th
MIL 93
DET 80
 
4th
NOP 81
SAC 88
 
Half
DEN 56
CHI 49
 
4th
UMO 21
OHIO 21
 
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
ELON 74
MRGST 73
 
Final
MIZZ 61
PURD 82
Final
MAR 55
HAW 62
Final
UNF 77
LIB 57
 
Final
CHAM 85
BYU 121
Final
BUCK 58
MDES 55
 
Final
UGST 85
WCU 70
 
Final
UWGB 64
EVAN 62
 
Final
ARST 71
ALA 76
 
Final
OHIO 69
ARKPB 60
 
Final
UNH 75
BU 68
 
Final
OU 70
CHIST 57
 
Final
TOL 79
DET 82
 
Final
CLMB 57
FD 47
 
Final
QUIN 50
HART 54
 
Final
SFLA 71
HOF 70
 
Final
HARV 84
HOU 63
 
Final
BONA 79
JST 71
 
Final
STJOE 74
LIU 70
 
Final
SYR 70
GHND 37
 
Final
MLOWELL 102
MTIDA 57
 
Final
CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
Final
VT 54
NIOWA 73
 
Final
WOFF 82
OHVALLEY 54
 
Final
TEMPL 76
PENN 67
 
Final
RUTG 50
PETE 68
 
Final
BGU 62
SEMIZ 54
 
Final
LAS 73
Terriers 60
 
Final
UVA 79
TENST 36
 
Final
KENT 92
TXARL 44
 
Final
FSU 66
CITA 55
 
Final
PBY 63
TOCC 40
 
Final
COOK 56
TENNM 74
 
Final
WMARY 83
WILL 49
 
Final
USB 71
WKENT 61
 
Final
HIGH 88
WMPEACE 71
 
Final
SMU 72
ARK 78
 
Final
ARMY 80
BING 54
 
Final
CSOU 80
CARK 67
 
Final
UMBC 54
HOW 68
 
Final
ARZ 72
KYST 68
 
Final
OREG 63
VCU 77
 
Final
PSU 78
AKR 72
 
Final
SCST 92
CIU 55
 
Final
CREI 75
EILL 53
 
Final
ALAAM 61
JVST 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 91
JCHR 65
 
Final
TXSA 57
LOYC 71
 
Final
NDST 64
MNCROOK 63
 
Final
NEB 80
NEOM 67
 
Final
VANDY 63
NORST 53
 
Final
STLU 57
NCAT 54
 
Final
MTST 65
NARZ 53
 
Final
TTU 75
NWST 64
 
Final
TULA 74
SOUTH 59
 
Final
ILLCH 87
STXAVIER 76
 
Final
TEX 78
RFLSH 46
 
Final
BRAD 52
TAMCC 38
 
Final
SMISS 72
TROY 70
 
Final
DRAK 73
IUPUI 60
 
Final
ARKST 58
LAM 63
 
2nd
FLGC 48
USF 26
 
2nd
COL 43
AFA 17
 
2nd
IDAHO 28
BSU 38
 
2nd
GRCN 32
BUF 45
 
2nd
ORU 27
LALAF 37
 
2nd
CHAR 41
MIAMI 48
 
1st
ISU 29
MD 30
 
1st
UMO 18
NW 14
 
1st
SACST 6
BRISTOL 5
 
10:15pm Tonight
MICH
VILL
10:20pm Tonight
SDST
PITT
11:00pm Tonight
USC
CSFU
11:00pm Tonight
STAN
DEL
Final
CLB 2
WIN 4
 
3rd
NAS 3
LOS 3
 
3rd
STL 2
OTT 0
 
2nd
DAL 2
EDM 1
 
2nd
ARI 3
COL 0
 
1st
ANA 0
CAL 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
NJD