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Evgeni Malkin's fourth career hat trick leads Penguins

Pittsburgh defeats the Ottawa Senators, 8-2.

December 24, 2009

Pittsburgh — Evgeni Malkin had his fourth career hat trick, Bill Guerin had two goals and two assists, and the Pittsburgh Penguins headed into the holiday break tied atop the league standings after routing the Ottawa Senators, 8-2, on Wednesday night.

Guerin and Chris Kunitz tied a club record with four points apiece during Pittsburgh's five-goal second period, when Ruslan Fedotenko also scored.

Sergei Gonchar added a goal and two assists and Sidney Crosby three assists for the Penguins (26-11-1), who tied a season high for goals and matched New Jersey's 53 points in first place of the Atlantic Division.

The game couldn't have gone worse for the Senators, who lost captain Daniel Alfredsson early to injury on a night Ottawa welcomed back three regulars to the lineup after extended absences.

Goalie Pascal Leclaire (fractured cheekbone, out 15 games), winger Chris Neil (left knee, 14 games) and winger Shean Donovan (right knee, 17 games) all had been out for roughly a month.

The Penguins' Craig Adams hit Alfredsson while his head was down and he was battling for the puck with a Penguin in the left-wing corner, causing Alfredsson's helmet to fly off and him to lie on the ice for a short time. Adams was not penalized.

Anton Volchenkov and Chris Kelly scored for Ottawa.

-- associated press

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