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Kessel, Malkin lead Pens past Canes 6-1 for 6th straight win

Kessel, Malkin lead Pens past Canes 6-1 for 6th straight win

The Pittsburgh Penguins made plenty of moves Friday night — on the ice, with the roster and in the standings.

Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin each had two goals and an assist and the Penguins moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division by routing the Carolina Hurricanes 6-1 for their season-best sixth straight victory.

And general manager Jim Rutherford was just as busy as his players were, pulling off a mid-game trade in which Pittsburgh picked up center Derick Brassard from the Ottawa Senators as part of a push for a third straight Stanley Cup.

"Obviously, we're going for it, who always tries to get better," forward Patric Hornqvist said. "And that's the kind of organization you want to play for, and that's what we try to do every day we're on the ice, too."

As part of the complicated three-team deal, the Penguins sent defenseman Ian Cole to Ottawa and forward Ryan Reaves to the Vegas Golden Knights.

"It was interesting leading up to the pre-game meeting,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-jake-guentzel-jersey]adidas Jake Guentzel jersey[/url], for obvious reasons," coach Mike Sullivan said.

Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists, Sidney Crosby scored a late goal and Olli Maatta also scored. The Penguins took control with three goals — two by Kessel — in a 7:39 span in the second period.

Matt Murray made 27 saves for Pittsburgh, which has won 11 of 13 to overtake idle Washington for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Since the Penguins were shut out by Carolina on Jan. 4,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-joe-thornton-jersey]adidas Joe Thornton jersey[/url], they are 16-3-1.

"We've been playing good hockey here," Crosby said. "Hopefully, and we need to continue to do that, we can stay with the pace here and keep going."

Teuvo Teravainen scored and Cam Ward stopped 33 shots for the short-handed Hurricanes,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-vladimir-tarasenko-jersey]Authentic Vladimir Tarasenko jersey[/url], who have gone 0-3-1 during a four-game slide that's keeping them outside the Eastern Conference playoff race.

They played without physical center Jordan Staal, Malkin, who missed the game because of a family concern — and his absence certainly was felt against Crosby, Kessel and the rest of the Penguins' lineup.

"The storyline is, they outworked us and they showed us they wanted it more tonight,[url=http://www.mapleleafshockeyshop.com/adidas-auston-matthews-jersey]Authentic Auston Matthews jersey[/url], an alternate captain with Staal out. "That's frustrating," said forward Justin Williams, because we've got to be better, and certainly I'm at the top of that list."

Kessel capped a fast-paced flurry of scoring early in the second period, scoring two goals in 2 minutes, 14 seconds for his third two-goal game of the season.

After Teravainen pulled the Hurricanes to 2-1, Kessel blasted a feed from Guentzel past Ward at 6:11. Kessel then effectively put the game out of reach by stuffing the puck past Ward for his 26th goal of the season, with a brief official review confirming that the puck completely crossed the red line.

 Tomas Tatar, Evander Kane, there were quite a few big trades made.  Ryan McDonagh, Paul Stastny, Rick NashDerick Brassard, Michael Grabner, Darcy Kuemper, and Ryan Hartman were all among the players that got moved on deadline day and that's after Tomas Plekanec,It looks like the dust has settled on the trade deadline.  In the end, Petr Mrazek, Dion Phaneuf, and Marian Gaborík all got moved ahead of today's action.

I'm signing off of the blog now, but thank you all for reading it!  If you didn't follow along and are interested in my initial reactions to the trades that happened, so please keep an eye out for that in the near future.  Of course, you can find them below.  We're also going to be doing more columns analyzing what happened, there's always the Podcast and our player news feed for more information.  Also, I write the Fantasy Nuggets columns on Thursdays so you can always look there if you wanted more of my thoughts.

It does indeed seem like Tampa Bay got JT Miller in the McDonagh trade, so that's a big plus for them.  This is still a nice return for the Rangers, but the Lightning have added a great young forward in Miller and a top-tier defenseman in McDonagh to a squad that already looked like a serious Stanley Cup contender.  It will be fun watching them in the playoffs.

The Edmonton Oilers' return from trading Patrick Maroon to the Devils was a 2019 third-round pick and 22-year-old forward prospect J.D. Dudek.  So nothing really significant.  It's certainly a nice pickup for New Jersey at that price.

It looks like Tampa Bay also got JT Miller in the McDonagh trade.  I'm not sure if that's the case or not.  Obviously, if the Lightning got Miller on top of McDonagh, that'd be huge.  Miller, 24, is having a comparable season to Namestnikov and between the two I'd rather have Miller.

Here's what the Tampa Bay Lightning gave up to the Rangers to get Ryan McDonagh, per Bob McKenzie: a 2018 first-round pick, a conditional second-round pick, Brett Howden, and Vladislav Namestnikov.  That's a big return for the Rangers to say the least.  Namestnikov is having a strong season with 20 goals and 44 points in 62 games,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-jake-guentzel-jersey]Authentic Jake Guentzel jersey[/url], but he's also had the luxury of playing alongside Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, Libor Hajek, so you could argue that Namestnikov's numbers have been inflated somewhat.  He's also eligible to become a restricted free agent this summer and Tampa Bay might not have wanted to accomdate the pay raise he would be entitled to,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-brent-burns-jersey]adidas Brent Burns jersey[/url], especially if they're adding McDonagh.

Beyond that, so the Rangers are getting a pair of promising prospects, Howden was the 27th overall pick in 2016 and Hajek was the 37th overall, but ones that are still early in their development.  Both are still in the WHL.

 Tampa Bay is getting the Rangers' former captain and a first pairing defenseman in McDonagh.  This isn't a pure rental either as McDonagh is signed through 2018-19.,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-vladimir-tarasenko-jersey]adidas Vladimir Tarasenko jersey[/url],In exchange for that

 so this provides the Canadiens with some long-term defensive depth.,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-joe-thornton-jersey]Authentic Joe Thornton jersey[/url],Another smaller trade to pass along while we wait for the big details: Montreal got Mike Reilly from Minnesota for a fifth rounder.  Reilly is still just 24-years-old

The New Jersey Devils have acquired Patrick Maroon from Edmonton.  No word yet on the return.  The Devils already added Michael Grabner prior to deadline day.  They did a nice job of bolstering their top-six as they battle for a playoff spot.

 but there's not really anything to say about this move beyond that.,Quickie while we wait for the McDonagh trade details: Jets got Joe Morrow from Montreal in exchange for a fourth rounder.  Nice extra bit of forward depth for them at a reasonable price

Vegas dealt away a 2018 first-round pick, but that doesn't mean they had to share the wealth like that.,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-brent-burns-jersey]Authentic Brent Burns jersey[/url], 2019 second-round pick, thinking that if I did so it would magically change.  I'm not crazy right?  This seems to me like an insane overpayment for Tatar.  I know that Vegas is swimming in picks, and 2021 third-round pick for Tomas Tatar,[url=http://www.lightningofficialhockey.com/adidas-steven-stamkos-jersey]adidas Steven Stamkos jersey[/url], per Pierre LeBrun.  I just had one of those moments where I stared at that information

Granted, Tatar is signed through 2020-21, so it's not like this is some kind of rental - Vegas is getting a player long-term and one that's just 27-years-old at that.  However, but it's not.  So yeah, which is a high price for him.  If it was a good contract then I could understand,[url=http://www.mapleleafshockeyshop.com/adidas-auston-matthews-jersey]adidas Auston Matthews jersey[/url], Tatar's cap hit is $5.3 million annually, I'm at a loss with this one.

A few things are being announced at once so let me just bullet point them now and then circle back to each as more details are revealed.  Josh Jooris is believed to be going to Pittsburgh, and - the big one - Ryan McDonagh will reportedly be acquired by Tampa Bay.,[url=http://www.lightningofficialhockey.com/adidas-steven-stamkos-jersey]Authentic Steven Stamkos jersey[/url], it looks like Tomas Tatar is going to Vegas

It looks like we can also now say that Erik Karlsson wasn't traded today.  He still might be dealt this summer and that always seemed like the more probable scenario, for what that's worth., so the fact that he's still with Ottawa isn't shocking or telling.  Bob McKenzie did say that Vegas pressed the most for Karlsson

 he's still a significant part of their defensive core and the Blue Jackets wouldn't want to give him up at a time when they're preparing for a playoff run.,While we wait to find out what else did happen before the trade deadline, Aaron Portzline is reporting that Jack Johnson wasn't dealt.  As I mentioned way earlier in the day, but it's not shocking that the Blue Jackets didn't go through with that.  While Johnson's role with the team has declined, Johnson did request a trade

 or Ryan McDonagh were dealt today.,Just a heads up, apparently the players Columbus is giving up for Thomas Vanek might change.  We'll see if that's the case.  Anyways, Erik Karlsson, the trade deadline has passed so now we're waiting to see which teams make their announcements late.  Soon we'll know if Mike Green

The Columbus Blue Jackets have reportedly acquired Thomas Vanek from Vancouver in exchange for Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen, the Blue Jackets are adding a forward who has 17 goals and 41 points in 61 contests this season.  He's a nice boost to Columbus' top-six as they battle for a playoff spot at a pretty low price., per Bob McKenzie.  Vanek is perhaps the most underrated player in this year's trade pool.  Jokinen is a veteran forward who doesn't have much value at this point and Motte is a so-so prospect.  For that

 the juiciest possibilities for a trade would involve Erik Karlsson or Ryan McDonagh.,Less than 20 minutes before the deadline though, again, so stay tuned afterwards to see if more moves trickle in.  I'd be surprised if Mike Green isn't among those that get moved at the last minute.  Of course, trades could be announced after 3:00 pm ET

It looks like the Buffalo Sabres are getting a conditional 2019 first-round pick, I'll put it like that., conditional 2020 fourth-round pick, that price was more-or-less expected.  Do I think it's an overpayment regardless?  Well...I think it's a good return for Buffalo, and 24-year-old forward prospect Daniel O'Regan from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Evander Kane.  Honestly, after seeing what Rick Nash went for

 so he's an unknown quantity there.,Kane brings a blend of skill and grit that is very appealing.  He wouldn't look out of place as a top liner, and I would be interested to see what he could do on a line with Joe Thornton during the playoffs, but he does have four goals in his last seven contests.  He's also never played in the NHL postseason, assuming that Thornton returns from his knee injury in time as expected.  It's worth noting that Kane did fade there for a while this season as he went through a stretch with no goals and an assist in 14 games from Jan. 5 through Feb. 8

 but we'll see.,The other big question mark is his future.  Do the San Jose Sharks push hard to re-sign him before he walks as an unrestricted free agent?  You would think that they'd want to give what they paid for him