Comrade of the Night-Evgeni Malkin

(courtesy of the AP)

It’s not often we honor the same Russian player in our Comrade of the Night feature back-to-back, but with tonight’s 5-point performance Evgeni Malkin’s effort could not go ignored. Malkin, who recently returned to the Pittsburgh line-up after missing a few games with a leg injury assisted on 3 goals while scoring 2 of his own en route to a 6-1 Penguins win over the Coyotes.

The affectionately named Geno started the night assisting on a Kris Letang power-play goal before scoring his 13th of the year just seconds before the first period horn. Malkin would beat Jason LaBarbera on a one-timer from Sidney Crosby immediately after a face-off to double his team’s lead.
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Comrades of the Night-Alex Kovalev and Sergei Gonchar

For the first time in our short history we have two comrades of the night as two of Russia’s most seasoned NHL vets had a memorable night up in Ottawa. Prior to face-off, the Senators honored Sergei Gonchar on his 1,000th game in the NHL by presenting him with a plaque, a silver stick, and a portrait. A video was also shown of his career and the various teams he played for including Washington, Boston, and Pittsburgh respectively.

Gonchar becomes just the fifth Russian (and third Sergei) in league history to surpass the plateau joining the likes of Sergei Fedorov, Alexei Zhitnik, Slava Kozlov, Sergei Zubov, and teammate Alex Kovalev. Kovalev will soon surpass Fedorov for most all-time games for a Russian-born NHLer needing just 11 more games. After being criticized in the early going of the season by GM Bryan Murray, Kovalev scored two goals and added an assist en-route to a 5-2 Ottawa win.
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