PITTSBURGH -- Evgeni Malkin put Pittsburgh ahead for good by scoring twice in the third period of his first three-goal playoff performance and the Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 7-4 Thursday night to open a two-game lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Sidney Crosby scored a record-tying sixth goal to start a playoff game, yet was upstaged by NHL regular-season scoring leader Malkin during an exceptional performance that also gave Malkin the playoff scoring lead 25-24 over Crosby.
Carolina had won five straight Game 2s, including the first two rounds this spring after losing Game 1 each time, but couldn't match Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux-era like run-and-gun offense despite rallying to tie three times. The Hurricanes will host Game 3 on Saturday night.
Malkin nded a succession of strong shifts by scoring the go-ahead goal that made it 5-4 with 8:50 gone in the third period.