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Penguins notebook: Malkin gets unusual penalty

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin battles with Lightning center Nate Thompson (44) and defenseman Eric Brewer (2) for the puck along the boards during the second period Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, in Tampa, Fla.

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By Josh Yohe
Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, 8:36 p.m.

TAMPA, Fla. — The “Ovechkin rule” was enforced against his countryman.

Rule 9.5, which states that a player's jersey must not be tucked into his pants, was enforced against Penguins center Evgeni Malkin in the first period against Tampa Bay on Friday. He was given a two-minute penalty for delay of game.

“The referee was looking for it,” coach Dan Bylsma said.

A number of Penguins confirmed that referees Tim Peel and Kyle Rehman also warned multiple Tampa Bay players about their uniforms, but nothing was called.

Malkin was carrying the puck on a 3-on-2 when the whistle blew. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury skated to the bench thinking the penalty was on Tampa Bay.

“He was given a warning,” Bylsma said. “The jersey was tied down. When you start the shift, it's supposed to be tied down. It did not come undone.”

Washington's Alex Ovechkin historically has preferred to tuck a portion of his jersey into his pants, sometimes obscuring his number. When the rule was put into place this summer, Ovechkin referred to it as “kind of stupid.”

Another Russian player, Carolina forward Alex Semin, received a penalty in the preseason for such an infraction.

Malkin is the first NHL player to receive a regular-season penalty for the violation.

He wears his pants lower than most players, occasionally resulting in his jersey moving high enough that it gets stuck under his pants.

Penguins right wing Craig Adams was given a game misconduct following the game for apparently saying something to a referee. It isn't known what Adams said, but the Penguins were angry about the ruling following the game.

700 Club for Sid

Sidney Crosby had three assists against the Lightning, and the second one gave him 700 career points. Among current players, he needed the fewest games to reach the milestone.

“It's amazing how often and how fast he's been on that score sheet,” Bylsma said. “It didn't take him long to get to 701, too.”

Crosby said such milestones feel particularly nice given all the time he missed during recent seasons because of concussions and a broken jaw.

“It's a nice number,” he said. “You try to be consistent. With missing time, you appreciate things like that a little more. It's not why you play, but it's nice to get those, for sure.”

He also has 450 assists, moving him past Ron Francis into third place on the Penguins' all-time list behind Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr.

Surviving without Stamkos

Tampa Bay remains in steady playoff position in the Eastern Conference despite playing without center Steven Stamkos, who suffered a broken leg in Boston almost three weeks ago and is out indefinitely.

Stamkos stunned many by appearing at a recent news conference by walking without crutches or a cast. Still, he remains out of the lineup, and the Lightning are fighting for every point without him.

“They definitely look different on the power play with him not out there,” goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. “He's a great player.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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