ATLANTA — Evgeni Malkin, the NHL leader with 53 points, had two goals and two assists, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves in his return to the lineup as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Atlanta Thrashers 6-3 on Thursday night at Philips Arena.
The Penguins had lost four of five and were 5-6-2 since Fleury last played on Nov. 15 in a victory over Buffalo. He kept Pittsburgh in it as Atlanta held a 31-19 shots advantage.
Malkin netted his 13th goal in the first period, added his 38th and 39th assist in the second period, and scored into an empty net with 26.2 seconds left. He has 14 points during a seven-game scoring streak.
Matt Cooke, Jordan Staal, Miroslav Satan and Phillippe Boucher had the other goals for Pittsburgh. Marty Reasoner, Bryan Little and Colby Armstrong tallied Atlanta’s goals.
Armstrong, traded last season to Atlanta by the Penguins, scored an unassisted goal with 5:05 left.
Atlanta cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 2-1 with 39 seconds left in the first period. Ilya Kovalchuk’s slap shot deflected off Reasoner and went past Fleury into the net. A melee followed the goal, with Crosby giving Atlanta a power play by drawing the third roughing penalty.