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Video: Evgeni Malkin snares 800th point, fittingly assisted by Sidney Crosby

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Time and time again, Evgeni Malkin‘s heroics are overshadowed by Sidney Crosby‘s even-more-brilliant work, to the point that it’s easy to forget how special No. 71 really has been.

Tuesday presents a useful reminder of both points: Malkin quietly hit the 800-point mark … with the primary assist going to Crosby.

Malkin hit that impressive plateau in just the 680th game of his remarkable career, giving him 15 goals and 40 points (and possibly counting) in 36 games so far in 2016-17.

Here’s the power-play goal that did it:

It’s worth noting that Malkin stands alongside Crosby as a guy with some “What if?” questions thanks to injuries. He was limited to 57 games last season and has been clocking in the 60 games played range more often than not lately.

Even with all of those issues, he’s regularly scoring at a point-per-game pace or higher, something that’s easier to realize when you consider 800 points in 680 games. Remarkable stuff.

You could say that he’s chisteled his spot on the Penguins’ Mount Rushmore in the process:

Update: Crosby scored his 25th goal of the season in this one and the Penguins continued their strong work with a 5-2 win against the Devils.

Kaprizov’s hot WJC start bolsters argument that Wild got a fifth-round steal

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Don’t blame prospect-minded Minnesota Wild fans for cackling with glee upon seeing the show Kirill Kaprizov put on tonight.

The prospect generated a hat trick (and two assists) for Russia in a 2017 World Juniors rout of Latvia, as the team bounced back from Monday’s 5-3 loss to Canada by dominating 9-1.

Really, Wild fans were probably pretty happy with what they saw of Kaprizov even in that loss, and also in how he’s playing so far in the KHL:

To be precise, the Wild selected Kaprizov, 19, with the 135th pick of the 2015 NHL Draft. (His selection seems to fall into a minor trend of people joking about Boston Bruins non-picks after New York Islanders prospect Mathew Barzal looked impressive on Monday.)

With Minnesota living off of its goaltending at times in 2016-17, it must be exciting to see a possible offensive catalyst in the prospect pipeline.

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Naturally, when you win 9-1, you’re getting contributions from other players.

Other standouts for Russia included Mikhail Vorobyov (four assists, 104th pick in 2015 by the Philadelphia Flyers) and Igor Rykov (three assists, 132nd pick by the New Jersey Devils in 2016). For more stats from that lopsided game, click here.

In other WJC news, Switzerland beat the Czech Republic 4-3 in overtime while Finland faces Denmark and Canada takes on Slovakia later tonight.

Canadiens won’t have Markov for first half of rough road trip

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On Monday, PHT discussed the tough rough ahead for the Montreal Canadiens. Now the light at the end of the tunnel feels a bit more distant.

The team announced that Andrei Markov won’t be available for their “next’ road trip, meeting away games on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. (He’s dealing with a groin injury that already sidelined him for three contests.)

Montreal’s probably wise – and reasonable – to compartmentalize the road ahead as two separate road trips, and Michel Therrien believes he could be available during the second half:

Ruled out

Wednesday (Dec. 28): at Lightning
Thursday (Dec. 29): at Panthers
Saturday (Dec. 31): at Penguins

Possibly available

Jan. 3: at Predators
Jan. 4: at Stars
Jan. 7: at Maple Leafs

As you can see, there’s a considerable gap between that road game against the Penguins and then the next set of dates starting on Jan. 3.

This doesn’t mean that Markov will be available next week, but this does give him an opportunity to heal up while the team plays a limited – but tough – slate of games.

At the moment, this is how the Habs’ defense looks:

Nathan BeaulieuShea Weber
Mark BarberioJeff Petry
Joel Hanley – Zach Redmond

Not ideal, especially since Montreal’s dealing with injuries to their forwards, too. They might need some Hart-quality work from Carey Price to wade through the next couple weeks.

Not quite 100 percent yet: Stars place Roussel on IR

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Injuries aren’t as much of a factor for the Dallas Stars as they were, say, a month ago … but they’re still dealing with some issues.

Along with season-long or close to season-long issues of Patrick Sharp and Ales Hemsky, the Stars are dealing with a hobbled Stephen Johns and are down one pest in Antoine Roussel. They placed the pugnacious forward on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 20 on Monday.

Roussel’s loss might be Jason Dickinson‘s gain, at least if the forward gets a shot at some playing time. Dickinson, the 29th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, was recalled from the AHL. He’s been generating solid AHL numbers and already has a game under his belt from earlier this season.

With Cody Eakin unavailable until Dec. 29 thanks to his high-profile suspension, the Stars will be a little shorthanded early this week. Unfortunately for Dallas, it’s become a familiar feeling.

Barzal, Strome prove explosive as Canada beats Russia at World Juniors

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Dylan Strome would prefer to play for the Arizona Coyotes in the NHL right now, but he’ll have to settle for putting up big numbers for Canada at the 2017 World Juniors. So far, he’s doing just that.

Strome (third overall in 2015) and Mathew Barzal (16th pick by the New York Islanders in that same year) were big factors in Canada’s WJC-opening 5-3 win against Russia on Monday.

Strome scored two goals while Barzal was named the player of the game, collecting the game-winner as well as two assists.

Canada’s other two standouts were Tyson Jost, who enjoyed a strong first period, and the team’s power play, which generated three of their five tallies. Jost justified at least some wishful thinking among Colorado Avalanche devotees as the 10th pick of the 2016 NHL Draft.

The Canadians carried much of the play early on in particular, hogging the puck and carrying a 3-1 lead into the third period.

The final frame saw the two countries trade goals with Canada ultimately coming through with that 5-3 win.

Canada might have to worry a bit about goaltending (Philadelphia Flyers prospect/48th pick from 2016 Carter Hart allowed those three goals despite just 17 shots on goal), but overall, it was a strong showing for the perennial contender.

Also, the country’s goaltending is basically meme fuel anyway.

Other games

Sweden 6, Denmark 1

Czech Republic 2, Finland 1

U.S. 6, Latvia 1. More on that game here.

Also, if you want to read up on the Flyers’ bounty of World Juniors invitees, check this post.