The Pittsburgh Penguins had scored one goal in their last 11 periods before Evgeni Malkin's return gave them a big boost in their latest game, and they're hoping that high-scoring performance wasn't an aberration.
Malkin and the Penguins will try to build on their six-goal effort Monday night against Anaheim, which will be trying to erase the image of letting up five third-period goals to last season's other Stanley Cup finalist.
Perhaps the most significant loss, though, came when Malkin decided to sit for two weeks at the end of October to rest his ailing right shoulder. The Penguins went 2-5-0 without the 2008-09 points leader in the lineup, totaling 11 goals and going 0 for 26 on the power play.
Pittsburgh went 0 for 3 with the man advantage in Malkin's return Saturday against Boston, but the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner made a difference 5-on-5. Malkin assisted on three goals, including Bill Guerin's game-tying score with 0.4 seconds left, and Pascal Dupuis' second goal of the game gave the Penguins a 6-5 overtime win.
"We were missing Geno," Dupuis said. "He played great for us. Obviously, it was a big boost for us for him to come back. He played well. It looked like he didn't miss a shift."
Coach Dan Bylsma put Malkin on a line with captain Sidney Crosby, a move he typically saves for end-of-game situations. Crosby had a goal and two assists, with his three points matching his total from the previous seven games.
"I know we get the message when we're together," Crosby said. "We know we have to create things. It's hard for them to key on one of us when we're together. Geno did a great job."
The last time the Penguins won before Saturday was in Anaheim on Nov. 3, when Dupuis' third-period goal lifted Pittsburgh to a 4-3 victory.
The Ducks (6-9-3) won their next two before embarking on a four-game trip, but they've been unable to find a victory on the road. A night after falling 3-2 in a shootout at Columbus, Anaheim let up five third-period goals in a 7-4 loss at Detroit on Saturday.
"We got ourselves back up with them a few times but they kept bumping back up," captain Scott Niedermayer said.
Anaheim scored three goals itself in the third period, including Ryan Getzlaf's second of the season. Despite Getzlaf's struggles to score, he's still setting up others. He also had three assists on Saturday to extend his points streak to 11 games, during which he has 19 points -- 17 assists.
Linemate Corey Perry has nine goals and five assists in his last nine games.
While Getzlaf has been producing, the Ducks are hurting for depth at center without Ryan Carter and Saku Koivu. Carter has missed the past two games after taking a shot off his skate at practice Thursday, and Koivu has missed all three games during the road trip with a lower-body injury.
If the Penguins are to break their 0-for-29 slump on the power play, Monday may be the time to do it. Anaheim is 29th in the league in penalty kills, allowing opponents to convert 26.7 percent of the time.
The Ducks are 2-7-0 with two ties all-time in Pittsburgh.