Evgeni Malkin recorded his fourth five-point game of the season with two goals and three assists in the Penguins’ 8-4 win against the Jets.
Malkin, who had three five-point games in his career entering this season, is the first NHL player to score five or more points in a game four times in one season since 1995-96, when the man who now signs Malkin’s paychecks, Mario Lemieux, had six such games for Pittsburgh, and Peter Forsberg did it four times for Colorado.
This has been a pretty remarkable year for single-game efforts:
— Back in November, Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins became the first 18-year-old in NHL history with five assists in a game and just the fourth to get five points in a single outing.
— In February, Nugent-Hopkins’ teammate, Sam Gagner, became the 13th player ever to score eight or more points in a game, scoring 4G-4A against Chicago.
— Philly’s Claude Giroux had a five-assist night in a 7-2 romp over Buffalo on Feb. 16.
— On Feb 18., Vancouver’s Daniel and Henrik Sedin combined for eight points in a 6-2 romp over Toronto.
That said, this really is the year of Malkin (yes, even with Steven Stamkos scoring 50.) He’s the only player with a realistic shot of cracking 100 points, which would earn him his second Art Ross Trophy in four years — putting him alongside Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky and Jaromir Jagr as the only multiple winners since 1980.