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Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin plays in 1,000th NHL game

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin plays in 1,000th NHL game

CHICAGO — Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin played in his 1,000th NHL game on Sunday night, becoming the 11th player to reach the milestone with the franchise.

Malkin scored in the Penguins’ 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, part of an offensive onslaught that helped Pittsburgh close out a 3-0 road trip.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists in the win. Rickard Rakell had a goal and an assist, and Brock McGinn also scored for the Penguins.

Malkin made his debut with Pittsburgh on Oct. 18, 2006, scoring in the second period of a 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The center helped the Penguins to Stanley Cup titles in 2009, 2016 and 2017.

Malkin’s teammates paid tribute to his accomplishment by doing his usual stretching routine during pregame warm-ups.

“We marvel sometimes at what he’s able to accomplish on the ice,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “He’s one of the more dominant players in our league when he’s at his best, and we’ve seen him at his very best through some of the Stanley Cup runs.”

With the goal against the Blackhawks, the 36-year-old Malkin now has a seven-game point streak. He has eight goals and 12 assists in 19 games this season.

It looked as if Malkin was going to try free agency for the first time last summer. But he decided to stay in Pittsburgh for a four-year contract worth $6.1 million annually. Now, he has joined longtime teammate Crosby as the only active players with 1,000 games for the Penguins.

“He’s been just such a big part of the Penguins’ success that they’ve had here in his time here,” Sullivan said.

As the Penguins head for home, Malkin’s career totals now sit at 452 goals and 714 assists in 17 NHL seasons. He also has 67 goals and 113 assists in 177 playoff appearances.

Malkin, who also has competed in the Olympics three times, is the 32nd active player and No. 373 overall with 1,000 career games. He is the eighth Russian-born player to achieve the feat.

In 2020, the International Ice Hockey Federation named Malkin to the all-time Russian National Team.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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