Chad Ruhwedel’s point shot hit Toronto defenseman T.J. Brodie in front and fell to Malkin, who buried the equalizer into a wide-open net.
Malkin, who also took two penalties in the opening period, has 67 career points (24 goals, 43 assists) in 41 games against Toronto.
“He was in beast mode,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “He was a threat all night long.
“When he plays the game like we’ve all grown accustomed to watching him over the years, the puck just follows him around.”
Pittsburgh then went ahead 68 seconds into the second, closing out a chaotic shift.
Leafs wingers Mitch Marner and Alexander Kerfoot couldn’t connect on a 2-on-0 break before the puck went the other way, with Malkin finding Zucker on a no-look pass. It was Zucker’s fourth of the season.
The Leafs responded on their third power play late in the period. Nylander, who hit the post earlier in the man advantage, pumped a one-timer for his sixth off a nice fake from Morgan Rielly at 17:17.