Angry Geno Malkin makes Lightning pay
The 18,596 fans at Consol Energy Center were fixated on the Evgeni Malkin Show on Saturday at Consol Energy Center during the Penguins' 8-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Malkin wanted Tampa Bay goaltender Dwayne Roloson to fixate on only one thing.
"I wanted him to see my face," Malkin said.
Roloson punched a fallen Malkin at the 8:23 mark of the second period. Malkin punched back, and while the league's leading scorer sat in the penalty box, the seething center decided to take his frustrations out on the Tampa Bay goaltender.
Did he ever. He took control of a game that resulted in his ninth career hat trick.
Malkin started his scoring barrage -- he has produced eight goals in his past seven periods against Tampa Bay -- by beating Roloson with a bad-angle one-timer. After scoring the goal, Malkin took a stride toward Roloson and stared him down, making sure the goaltender saw his face.
"Of course I was mad," Malkin said. "I don't know why he punched me in the face."
Malkin, who missed the playoff series against Tampa Bay last season because of a torn ACL, also had something to say following the goal.
"He was actually telling me where it (the shot) went," Roloson said. "Him and I always have a little battle anyway."
No one is winning battles against Malkin this season.
He leads the NHL with 77 points, four better than Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos, who had pulled even with Malkin earlier this week. Stamkos was scoreless yesterday.
If the bad-angle goal was a message to Roloson, the goal Malkin scored 5:50 into the third period was a message to the entire league: Make Malkin mad, and he will make you pay.
In one of the great goals of his career, Malkin split two separate pairs of Tampa Bay players before beating Roloson with a forehand deke.
"I'm honestly out of words to describe him or to describe that goal," Penguins center Joe Vitale said. "He's doing things other people wouldn't even try to do."
Malkin's performance against Tampa Bay might have been personal. After a hat trick in Tampa in January, Tampa Bay captain Vincent Lecavalier accused him of dirty tactics because he dodged a body check in the third period of that game.
Malkin responded with a two-goal performance against the Lightning two weeks ago and four more points yesterday.
That Roloson chose to hit Malkin in the face after the center had made contact with the goaltender only intensified Malkin's desire to put on a show.
"It wasn't my fault," Malkin said. "The defenseman cross-checked me in the back. Made me mad."
After Malkin let Roloson know where he had beaten the goaltender after the first goal, Roloson apparently said something back.
"I didn't listen," Malkin said. "The fans were so much louder."
By the midway mark of the third period, when Malkin had recorded this third goal of the game, the crowd was making even more noise. "MVP" chants, along with hats, filled the Consol Energy Center air.
Two of the other stars on this day spoke in admiration for Malkin. Center Jordan Staal produced two goals and an assist. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 34 of 35 shots, including breakaways by Stamkos and Martin St. Louis.
Fleury suggested that a physical assault on Malkin is the only way to stop him.
Staal isn't sure if anyone can stop Malkin, who will lead the Penguins into battle this afternoon against Columbus.
"He can take a game over in one shift," Staal said. "He's definitely fun to watch."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Finding balance between toughness, excessiveness key for Penguins’ Downie
- Penguins minor league notebook: Pouliot impresses early in season
- Starkey: Pens move on with, without Dupuis
- Penguins notebook: Fleury awaits word on when he’ll vie for 300th victory
- Penguins’ Dupuis diagnosed with blood clot in lung
- Mears savors success, credits legendary Lange for guidance, inspiration
- Penguins’ Crosby OK with Neal comments about trade
- Penguins notebook: Penguins getting fewer power-play opportunities