Evgeni Malkin declined to speak with media in the aftermath of his historic own goal against the Arizona Coyotes last Monday.
On a delayed penalty, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang executed a drop pass toward Evgeni Malkin near the Penguins’ vacated net. Gliding laterally, Malkin didn’t take receipt of the pass but deflected it into the net.
Because Arizona was currently on the power play, they were credited with a power-play goal and became the first team in NHL history to score a power-play goal without a power-play shot on goal in the game. Arizona won 5-2, but it might as well have been 10-0 with the Penguins’ lackluster effort.
Malkin declined to speak that night and again on Thursday at practice. Friday night, after the Penguins lost to the Florida Panthers 3-2 in a shootout, Malkin addressed the goal’s aftermath and the corrosive personal effect on him. The big Russian forward scored the game-tying goal with under one minute remaining. His celebration was doubly charged and cathartic.
“My goal (tonight), all night, (I was) down on my confidence, and I need nice games, and to (get going) for sure,” Makin said. “I feel so much better because everybody showed me this video when I scored on (my) own net. I know it’s bad luck, but we lost the last two games and didn’t play great.”