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We Feel Ya, Malkin’s Parents Emotional at Penguins Game



Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin's Father wipes away tears

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Lazarus routine, rising from the playoff dead to claim what would be a wildcard spot on Saturday, was fraught with emotion.

On the ice, the Penguins scrapped and clawed for a 5–4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The jubilation when Michael Bunting scored the game-winning goal with just over five minutes remaining sent the PPG paint crowd into a frenzy.

Evgeni Malkin, 37, assisted on that winner after nearly scoring it himself. Malkin has been on a tear over the last couple of weeks as his parents have arrived from Russia. He had two more goals Saturday and has four goals in his last three games and three multi-goal games in his last six.

Malkin’s parents have been popular figures at the arena since Malkin was a rookie. Whenever they’re shown on the video board, fans immediately cheer. After Malkin scored his second goal of the game Saturday, chants of “Geno” rained from the rafters.

The moment was intense for Malkin’s father, Vladimir. As cameras cut to Mr. Malkin, he was wiping tears from his eyes.

Every father feels ya, Vladimir.

Just as they have been since the Penguins’ core three were young players, Malkin’s parents are popular figures for the fans and camera operators. Multiple times per game, the Penguins video board will show Malkin’s parents, who usually enjoy playing to the crowd eliciting raucous cheers.

Because of COVID and their age, the Malkins have not been able to visit Pittsburgh for about five years, according to Malkin. Their return both to Pittsburgh and to PPG paints Arena has clearly elevated Malkin’s play.

“Geno’s parents mean a lot to him. When his parents come into town, he clearly wants to be at his best,” coach Mike Sullivan Saturday. “So, I don’t think there’s any doubt that when his parents are here, his family is here, he’s around the people that he cares deeply about, he’s at his very best. I don’t think there’s any question that his parents are a big part of it.”

Of course, the playoff chase has something to do with that as well.