NHL notebook: Evgeni Malkin plays for Russia in worlds
May 20, 2014 9:58 PM
Darko Bandic/Associated Press
Russia forward Evgeni Malkin, left, battles for the puck with Belarus defender Ivan Usenko during the Group B preliminary round match between Russia and Belarus at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
From local and wire dispatches
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin had one shot and no points in 14 minutes, 44 seconds of playing time as he made his 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation world championships debut Tuesday.
It came in Russia’s final preliminary-round game, a 2-1 win against host Belarus in Minsk.
Malkin, who joined Team Russia after the Penguins bowed out of the playoffs, centered a line with Phoenix prospect Viktor Tikhonov and Toronto’s Nikolai Kulemin.
“It was hard today, to be honest,” Malkin told reporters. “The first period was especially tough, but then it got a bit easier. I’ve got good [linemates] and we created chances, but it’s a pity that I couldn’t score. The puck just wouldn’t go in for me. I’ll look at some videos, analyze the game and hope it will go better next time.”
Late in the second period, Malkin collided with Belarus goaltender Vitali Koval, who was injured and left the game.
Russia is 7-0 and will meet France Thursday in the quarterfinals.
Malkin arrived in time to play while Washington winger Alex Ovechkin sat out the game. Ovechkin injured his right knee when he was clipped Sunday in a game against Germany.
Ovechkin remained in Minsk, but there is a chance he could play again as soon as Thursday against France.
The Washington Post reported that the Capitals are believed to have reached out to Ray Shero, who was fired last week as Penguins general manager.
The Capitals fired George McPhee as general manager and Adam Oates as coach nearly a month ago.
There also are reports that Boston assistant general manager Jim Benning, a potential candidate for the Penguins general manger job, will be named this week as Vancouver general manager.
Boston president Cam Neely says the Bruins still are set up to contend for the Stanley Cup for years to come.
Speaking at a news conference a week after Boston was eliminated from the playoffs by Montreal, the Bruins’ president noted that most of the roster is made up of young but experienced players — aside from hulking defenseman Zdeno Chara, 37.
“And Zdeno is still, in my opinion, the best defender in the game,” Neely said.
“So, I still think we’re in our window.
“We just have to recognize what we need to do to make our team better, whether it’s guys playing better or whether we’re adding different players.”
The core of the current team, led by Chara, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand, won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and lost in the Stanley Cup final to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games in 2013.
This season, they went 54-19-9 and won the Presidents’ Trophy with the best regular-season record.
In March, the Bruins had a 12-game winning streak and a 16-game point streak that helped them soar past the Penguins to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Winger Miroslav Satan, part of the Penguins 2009 Stanley Cup team, announced his retirement after Slovakia was eliminated from the world championships.
Satan, 39, played in more than 1,000 NHL games. With the Penguins, he notched 17 goals, 36 points in 65 games in 2008-09, and scored another goal and had five assists in 17 playoffs games in their run to the Stanley Cup.
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