130th STANLEY CUP FINAL

Malkin pumps up goal-starved Kessel: ‘He’ll score … He’ll have great game’

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Phil Kessel skates at Wednesday practice in Cranberry Township, Pa. - CHRIS ORBAN / DKPS

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Evgeni Malkin claims to have told Chris Kunitz he was going to score his first goal of the Stanley Cup playoffs prior to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.

Kunitz went out and scored not once, but twice, the second of which clinched the Prince of Wales Trophy in sudden-death overtime.

Phil Kessel is now in a goal-scoring slump himself, so he'll take whatever Kunitz got from Malkin, thank you very much.

“He'll score," Malkin said Wednesday after morning practice at the Lemieux Sports Complex, obliging his dressing-room neighbor and frequent linemate.

"We know it’s time to score. Now it’s time to show leadership. Time to score."

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