Nikita Malkin surprises his dad by announcing opening lineup for his 1000th game; Geno couldn’t stop his tears
What a special evening it was on Sunday for the Pittsburgh Penguins and especially for Evgeni Malkin. Sidney Crosby had four points as the Pens beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 at the United Center, but it was all about Malkin. He played in his 1000th game in the NHL, and of course, he scored a goal on his big night.
Malkin joined the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006 after escaping from his Russian team. Since then, he has won Stanley Cups, scoring titles and MVPs. He’s been the face of the franchise with Sidney Crosby, and when he skated for his 1000th game, the praise he received was enormous.
Malkin isn’t just a great hockey player; he’s also a great guy off the ice and for his community. And he’s loved as a teammate.
”We all know what Geno means to the city of Pittsburgh and the story and the legacy that he’s built. I know it was a special night for him and his family to celebrate with him, which was terrific,” said coach Mike Sullivan.
And speaking of Geno’s family… Before Malkin’s anniversary match, his son Nikita was there for a big surprise. In a video uploaded on the Penguins’ official Twitter account, Nikita was there to announce the starting lineup, and Geno had no idea about it.
So as Nikita, who is six, approached the locker room, Evgeni Malkin couldn’t stop his tears.
When Nikita had read the starting lineup, he got a big hug from his proud father.
Evgeni Malkin usually isn’t the guy to show a lot of emotions. But he was smiling, laughing, and crying before, during, and after Sunday’s game.
“You saw it, you know, the smile he had in a warm-up. His emotion when his son came into the room, it was special,” teammate Kris Letang said.
“It was funny. Sometimes, Geno doesn’t show emotion that much. You know, he’s a pretty strong guy, usually. And to see him like that, it’s special. He just … Yeah, it’s fun to see.”