The Pittsburgh Penguins pulled out all the stops to celebrate a major milestone for one of their franchise legends.
Superstar forward Evgeni Malkin suited up for his 1000th game on Sunday, becoming the 11th player to reach the milestone with the Penguins.
His teammates found the best way to celebrate Malkin’s accomplishment by doing his unusual stretching routine during the warmup in Chicago before their game against the Blackhawks.
— JayOnSC (@JayOnSC) November 21, 2022
Malkin genuinely seemed to appreciate his teammates’ funny tribute and tapped his stick several times on the ice - once he was done stretching - to thank them.
It was later revealed that the plan was orchestrated by none other than team captain Sidney Crosby.
“Sid went around the plane yesterday and told everybody that’s what we were doing,” said forward Brock McGinn during a first intermission interview with Dan Potash. “I think everybody enjoyed it.”
The team also had a special surprise for the 36-year-old before the game, with his six-year-old son Nikita coming into the locker room to announce the Pens' starting lineup.
geno and nikita’s hug 🥺 sid just smiling away at their lil happy moment 🥺 pic.twitter.com/2Wty36p4Cu
— b⁷¹ (@thecrosbyline) November 21, 2022
Malkin went to score in the contest, notching his eighth tally of the season on the way to a 5-3 win. On the broadcast, the Russian superstar can be heard yelling excitedly as he celebrated with his teammates. He extended his point streak to seven games with this goal in Chicago, recording three goals and five assists over that span.
As the second overall pick of the 2004 NHL Draft, Malkin made his debut with Pittsburgh on Oct. 18, 2006, scoring the lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The seven-time All-Star helped lead the Penguins to Stanley Cup championships in 2009, 2016 and 2017.
Despite rumours that Malkin was moving on from Pittsburgh as an unrestricted free agent last summer, the Magnitogorsk, Russia native changed course and returned to his beloved Penguins on a four-year, $24.4-million deal that'll most likely see him end his illustrious career in black and gold.
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