Both Evgeni Malkin and linemate James Neal earned assists on Matt Niskanen’s goal scored in the first period of yesterday afternoon’s game against the Boston Bruins (and it was actually the first goal Niskanen scored on home ice as a Penguin).
The assists earned both players career milestones for each of them. It was Malkin’s 500th NHL career point and Neal’s 200th NHL career point.
According to the CONSOL jumbotron, Malkin is only the 17th Russian-born player to reach 500 points. And, to add some perspective to this accomplishment, Malkin reached this milestone in his 413th NHL game while Jaromir Jagr reached the same milestone (500 points) in 419 NHL games.
To make the day even more special, Malkin’s parents, Vladimir and Natalia, were in attendance at the CONSOL to see their son reach this milestone yesterday afternoon.
When asked what it means to him, Malkin had this to say according to PittsburghPenguins.com:
“I just enjoy it, you know?,” Malkin said of what reaching the milestone means to him. “I just enjoy playing hockey and enjoy playing with my linemates. I think we did a great job today. It was a huge three goals and we won two points.
“I don’t think about my points now. The season continues and playoffs are coming soon. I just enjoy playing the game and enjoy stepping on the ice every game and every practice. It was a big win today and I hope we win the next one, too.”