What a week it’s been for Evgeni Malkin. The Pittsburgh Penguins icon celebrated game Nr. 1000 in the NHL earlier this week, and was celebrated by teammates and coaches, and he was surprised to tears when his son, Nikita Malkin, joined in the locker room to announce the opening lineup.
Before playing his 1,001st career game, he was honored by the Pens organization and fans for reaching the four-digit milestone In a pregame ceremony.
And it wouldn’t have been Evgeni Malkin if he didn’t decide the game for his team.
The Russian made the arena explode when he gave the Penguins a 2-1 win in a shootout against the Calgary Flames. His shootout attempt was as smooth as it gets, and he finished it perfectly.
Everything was just perfect. Malkin was honored for his tremendous career, and he decided the game, but… not everything went according to plan.
When Malkin scored the shootout winner, he flipped his stick into the crowd.
Well, at least he tried to.
Malkin actually failed to flip the stick over the boards, and it almost hit him on the head on its way back to the ground. So Malkin tried again, and this time, one lucky fan got a stick from one of the greatest players of his generation.
Sidney Crosby described the night as ”perfect.”
“You wouldn’t want anyone else with the opportunity to win the game,” Crosby said. “The whole night was awesome. The whole day. The last few (days), to be honest. Happy to see him roof it and get the winner,” Crosby said per The Athletic.