The puck ended up on Evgeni Malkin's stick, and Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher could feel a sense of dread.

It didn't matter that the Pittsburgh Penguins center hadn't played in more than a week because of a concussion. Give the reigning NHL MVP a sheet of open ice in a tight game, and things typically aren't going to end well.

"We gave it to him," Boucher said. "That's unacceptable." So was the result for Tampa Bay.

Seconds later, Malkin split two defenders and tucked the puck into a wide-open net to tie the game, sparking a furious third-period rally as the host Penguins beat the Lightning 4-3 on Monday.

Malkin added an assist on James Neal's empty-net goal, punctuating the Russian's return 11 days after suffering short-term memory loss and headaches when he slammed into the end boards during a win over Florida on Feb. 22. He was cleared to return to practice Sunday.

Considering the way Malkin dominated his teammates during workouts, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wasn't stunned to see Malkin play so brilliantly. "He had guys shaking their heads at how strong he was yesterday," Bylsma said.

Kings 5, Predators 1: Jeff Carter completed his fifth career hat trick with two goals in a 19-second span of the third period, and host Los Angeles beat Nashville despite taking only 16 shots on net.

Jonathan Bernier has won five consecutive starts for the first time in his NHL career.

Coyotes 5, Ducks 4: Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in the fifth round of the shootout and Mike Smith stopped Bobby Ryan as host Phoenix beat Anaheim.

Hurricanes: Goalie Cam Ward will miss six to eight weeks with a sprained knee ligament.

Sabres: The NHL suspended Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta for five games for shoving Rangers center Brad Richards from behind and into the boards Sunday night.

Draft: The NHL announced that all 14 teams that miss the playoffs, or the teams that hold the rights to the top 14 picks, will be eligible to win the No. 1 draft pick when the lottery is held April 29. Under the previous system, the five teams with the fewest points had the opportunity to win the top selection.