Thursday night saw five different Russian NHL’ers light the lamp for their respective teams. While they were all important to the teams involved, one players performance stood slightly higher than the rest. Heading into Thursday’s match-up against the Rangers, Evgeni Malkin and the Penguins were coming off an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Islanders in the ever competitive Atlantic Division. Just 1:27 into the game, Simon Despres found Malkin with a pass near the far right circle which the 26-year-old center rocketed past Henrik Lundqvist’s 5-hole.
The goal proved to be the difference as the Penguins tacked on two more goals for insurance, with Malkin assisting on James Neals’ second period tally. With the two points, Malkin became tied for second most points amongst Russian players the same night Blues’ forward Vladimir Tarasenko took the lead amongst his comrades with his 5th goal of the year.
Elsewhere, Alex Ovechkin got his second goal of the season against Toronto while Nikolai Kulemin netted his first for the Leafs. Alex Kovalev got the game-winning goal for the Panthers over the Jets and Evgeni Nabokov picked up his fourth win on the year in a sloppy game against the Devils. Nabokov also picked up his second assist of the year, tops amongst goalies.
Below are both Malkin’s goal and post-game interview courtesy of Pens TV