Pittsburgh's star forwards Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby were facing some criticism heading into Game 6 of their first-round playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets because both were riding lengthy goal-scoring droughts going back to last year's postseason.
Consider the slump broken for one of them.
Malkin scored his first three goals of the series on Monday and completed his second career postseason hat trick when he beat Sergei Bobrovsky on this two-on-one rush late in the second period to give the Penguins a 4-0 lead.
Even though Malkin and Crosby had yet to score in the series, both were still playing pretty well and at the center of pretty much all of the offense for Pittsburgh over the first five games. The puck just wasn't going in the net off of their sticks (and in the playoffs we don't really like that for our star players).
In Game 6, that changed for Malkin.