Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have led the Pittsburgh Penguins to their longest winning streak in nearly five years.
Now, the young duo tries to help Pittsburgh earn a road victory over the San Jose Sharks for the first time in over nine years when the teams meet on Saturday.
The Penguins (7-3-0) extended their win streak to five games Wednesday as Malkin scored his second goal of the contest in overtime of a 4-3 victory at Los Angeles. Pittsburgh hasn't won six in a row since Jan. 17-26, 2002.
The 20-year-old Russian's first-period goal made him the first NHL player in 89 years to score in each of his first six games.
"Malkin's contribution has been huge and I feel pretty fortunate to play with him," said the 19-year-old Crosby, who assisted on both of Malkin's goals and added another on Noah Welch's tying goal in the third period.
Crosby and Malkin have combined for 13 goals and 29 points this season, and along with fellow youngsters Jordan Staal and Marc-Andre Fleury, are a big part of Pittsburgh's strong start.
Staal, who scored his fifth goal Wednesday, turned 18 in September while 21-year-old goalie Fleury has started each game during the win streak.
Pittsburgh has won all four of its road games this season, but is facing a Sharks team that has five victories and a tie in the last six matchups between these clubs in San Jose. The Penguins haven't won there since a 5-2 victory on Oct. 22, 1997.
San Jose (9-5-0) is coming off a 3-1 home loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday, its third defeat in five games after dropping just two of its first nine contests.
The Sharks, whose 22 power-play goals make up more than half their goals this season, failed to convert with the man advantage for the first time in six games Thursday.
"Our power play wasn't clicking, but that's no excuse," said defenseman Kyle McLaren, who scored the team's lone goal with less than three minutes left in the game. "We're relying on our power play too much. We need to score 5-on-5 goals."
San Jose outshot New York 30-19, but forward Joe Thornton said the Sharks weren't ready to play.
"We didn't come game-prepared," said Thornton, who failed to record a point for the sixth time this season. "We got a lot of shots, just not a lot of quality shots. We may have taken them a little lightly, having played last night. It's tough going into the locker room after playing like that."
Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov likely won't start against the Penguins with coach Ron Wilson alternating between him and Vesa Toskala in net. Toskala, who has been in goal for six of San Jose's wins this season, has never faced the Penguins.
This is the first meeting between these teams since the Sharks won 4-2 at home on Feb. 27, 2004.
RECENT 5 GAMES
DATE RESULT DATE RESULT
Nov 1, 2006 PIT 4 @ LAK 3
Oct 28, 2006 PIT 8 @ PHI 2
Oct 24, 2006 NJD 2 @ PIT 4
Oct 21, 2006 CBJ 3 @ PIT 5
Oct 19, 2006 PIT 4 @ NYI 3
Nov 2, 2006 NYR 3 @ SJS 1
Oct 31, 2006 SJS 2 @ FLA 1
Oct 29, 2006 SJS 4 @ TBL 2
Oct 26, 2006 SJS 3 @ NSH 4
Oct 25, 2006 SJS 1 @ DET 2
NEXT 5 GAMES
Nov 4, 2006 PIT @ SJS
Nov 6, 2006 PIT @ ANA
Nov 8, 2006 TBL @ PIT
Nov 10, 2006 OTT @ PIT
Nov 11, 2006 PIT @ CAR
Nov 4, 2006 PIT @ SJS
Nov 7, 2006 MIN @ SJS
Nov 9, 2006 SJS @ LAK
Nov 11, 2006 SJS @ PHX
Nov 13, 2006 SJS @ LAK
PIT Schedule SJS Schedule
2006-2007 Team Stats
14 Points: 18
7 Wins: 9
1 ShutOuts: 3
2 Power Play Rank: 1
13 Penalty Kill Rank: 8
1.000 Win % When Leading After 1: .778
1.000 Win % When Leading After 2: .778
.000 Win % When Trailing After 1: .250
.500 Win % When Trailing After 2: .250
GOALS: E. MALKIN 7 M. MICHALEK 7
ASSISTS: S. CROSBY 12 J. THORNTON 13
POINTS: E. MALKIN 11 J. THORNTON 15
+/-: S. CROSBY 8 M. CARLE 4
OT GOALS: E. MALKIN 1 C. BROWN 1