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Malkin, Neal help Pens down Preds to clinch playoff berth

Evgeni Malkin scored twice and the red-hot 1 win over the Nashville Predators.

Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke and Chris Kunitz also scored for the Penguins, who improved to 13-0-1 in their last 14 games. James Neal had four assists one game after picking up his second career hat trick.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves and became the first goaltender in the NHL to 40 wins this season, and Pittsburgh ran its home winning streak to nine games while moving within one point of the idle New York Rangers for first place in the Atlantic Division and the No. 1 overall spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Pens were coming off an 8-4 rout of Winnipeg on Tuesday, which followed a last-second loss to the Flyers in overtime Sunday.

Alexander Radulov, back with the Predators after winning two MVPs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, scored their only goal in his first NHL game since 2008.