Gene J. Puskar/AP

The Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin backed up his recent playoff guarantee with a hat trick in a win over Vancouver.

By Dan Marrazza
January 23, 2016

Joe Namath. Mark Messier. Evgeni Malkin?

Messier and Namath are famous for making guarantees in important situations and coming through. Malkin may be making an effort to join them.

Of course, a guarantee made in the middle of January that his Pittsburgh Penguins would make the playoffs might not be on the same level as Messier or Namath’s guarantees. But Malkin made a loud statement on Saturday by scoring his 10th career hat trick in a 5–4 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Malkin’s third goal was a spectacular wrist shot over the shoulder of Ryan Miller that tied the Penguins with the Canucks in the third period, three minutes after his second goal narrowed his team’s deficit to one goal after Vancouver had jumped out to a 3–1 lead.

• Watch: Gary Suter, Ryan Suter participate in ceremonial faceoff

Bryan Rust and Sidney Crosby added goals in the next nine minutes to secure a 5–4 win for the Penguins, who moved into the Eastern Conference’s second wild card spot with their victory.

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