Jake Guentzel second player in NHL history to score four straight goals in playoff game

When one of a team's top players is out of the lineup, someone needs to step up -- a challenge that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel took upon himself Sunday.

With superstar Evgeni Malkin sitting out Game 6 with a lower-body injury, second-year player Guentzel took over, scoring four consecutive goals to propel the Penguins from a 4-3 deficit to a 7-4 lead and an eventual 8-5 victory to clinch their first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Guentzel is only the second player in NHL history to score four consecutive goals -- a streak uninterrupted by either team -- in a playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Tim Kerr of the Philadelphia Flyers also did it in Game 3 of the 1985 quarterfinals against the New York Rangers.

Guentzel, 23, tied the game at 4-4 with 54 seconds left in the second period off a Flyers turnover. He scored 30 seconds into the third for the lead off another giveaway, and sealed one more lopsided win over the Flyers with two goals 10 seconds apart later in the period.

"He has the ability to play his best when the stakes are the highest. We have a team that does that. They embrace adversity. They embrace the struggle. Our team doesn't get rattled. They embrace the challenge," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

Guentzel is the third Penguin -- along with Mario Lemieux and Kevin Stevens -- and the 35th player overall to score four times in a playoff game.

The last player to do it was Ottawa's Jean-Gabriel Pageau, last season against the Rangers.