Evgeni Malkin tallied an assist in a losing effort as Metallurg Magnitogorsk fell 4-3 to Salavat Yulaev. It was Malkin’s first game in the KHL since the 2005-2006 season when he tallied 47 points in 46 games as a 19 year old.
At the time, the Penguins had already called “Geno’s” name on draft day, but since the NHL suffered a season-long lockout, the Russian stayed home. It wasn’t until the end of 2006 when Malkin appeared at Mario Lemieux’s doorstep looking to join the Penguins.
With the NHL under another lockout with no foreseeable end in sight (the preseason games were cancelled yesterday), Malkin decided to go back to Russia and don the Red, White, and Blue for Magnitogorsk.
With Metallurg down 3-2 in the final minute of the game, Malkin recorded a secondary assist to a goal by Enver Lisin. Malkin was also 9 of 13 in face-offs. He did take a huge hip check from Andrei Zubarev; however, Malkin was able to get up and continue without pain.
A goal by Sergei Zinovyev three and half minutes into overtime gave Salavat the win.
Former Penguins Sergei Gonchar and Cal O’Reilly are also on Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Gonchar was credited with an assist while O’Reilly was kept off the scoresheet despite leading the team in points through the first five games.
Many of the NHL’s players have signed with European teams while the lockout continues. The contracts are on a week to week basis meaning the players will be allowed to return to their respective NHL teams once a new CBA is in place.
Photo Courtesy of Ria Novosti