PITTSBURGH - Evgeni Malkin had his fourth career hat trick, Bill Guerin added 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 a shoulder 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.
After the game, Alfredsson indicated he would likely miss at least "a few weeks for sure" of action.
"I don't know exactly how long (he'll be out)," Alfredsson, who wore a brace on his left shoulder, told reporters. "I'll probably see the doctor tomorrow and do an X-ray and see what the damage is. But I expect at least a few weeks."
Added Senators head coach Cory Clouston: "It doesn't look good. We're already missing (Jason) Spezza and (Nick) Foligno. That's like losing a whole first line."
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 lay on the ice for a short time. Adams was not penalized.
Anton Volchenkov and Chris Kelly scored for Ottawa, which has lost four of six.
Playing in front of Russian Olympic team general manager Vladislav Tretiak - the great former Soviet goalie - Malkin had his first multiple-goal regular-season game since March 17 against Atlanta.
Malkin scored once in each period, the first and last off nice setups by Crosby. He had only two goals in his previous 10 games and the reigning NHL scoring champion was held off the score sheet in each of his past two.
The Penguins, on a 9-2-1 run, entered the game with the league's worst power play, but went 3-for-8 with an extra man, scoring three power-play goals for the second time this season.
Guerin had two of them in the second period and assisted on tallies by Malkin and Kunitz during that period.
Senators general manager Bryan Murray called league director of officiating Terry Gregson on Tuesday to complain about calls going against his team. Monday, the team did not have a power play during a game for the third time this season.
Ottawa was given six opportunities Wednesday - none were converted - but the Penguins still had more. Still, the Senators sent 46 shots at goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. It was the third time this season they had at least that many shots, but they have only a combined four goals in those contests and lost each.
NOTES: Leclaire was pulled during the second intermission after allowing six goals on 24 shots ... Ottawa had 24 shots during the first period, one shy of the record for a visiting team against the Penguins ... The previous high for most shots allowed by the Penguins under coach Dan Bylsma was 45 ... The Senators return to action on Saturday, facing the Sabres in Buffalo (7 p.m., no TV, Team 1200).