Pens Tournament Updates: Malkin, Jarry Advance to Semis
Evgeni Malkin has led his country into the semifinals of the 2014 World Championship.
The Penguins center scored a goal and added an assist in Russia’s 3-0 win over France (who earned an upset win over Canada during preliminary-round play) on Thursday in Minsk, Belarus.
Russia, who improved to a perfect 8-0 in the tournament, will play the winner of Sweden-Belarus in the semifinals. The game will take place Saturday, May 24 at a time yet to be determined.
|Photo Credit: IIHF
This was just Malkin’s second game since joining Team Russia overseas after the Penguins’ season ended last week. He skated on a line with fellow Magnitogorsk native and friend Nikolai Kulemin and Viktor Tikhonov, and Malkin said his familiarity with those two helped him get comfortable as quickly as possible.
“I felt much better today, I had the time to get acclimated," Malkin told the IIHF’s official website. "Kulemin and I have played with each other a lot before and I know how to play with him. It's very comfortable for me on the line with (Kulemin) and Tikhonov. It was a good win but we could have played better and been more effective.”
Malkin’s goal came on the power play, where he skated on the first unit alongside Washington’s Alex Ovechkin — playing his first game back after sustaining a lower-body injury earlier in the tournament.
“The goal was fluky and nice at the same time," Malkin told the IIHF’s official website. "I wanted to carry the puck in around the goalie. It was luck that the puck hit the outside of the net and rebounded right into the crease, where all I had to do was to extend my stick and tap it in.”
Back in North America, Penguins goaltending prospect Tristan Jarry, taken by Pittsburgh in the second round (44th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, is advancing in his tournament as well.
It was a wait-and-see situation for Jarry’s Edmonton Oil Kings, as there were a lot of different scenarios that could have played out depending on the result of Wednesday night’s game between the Guelph Storm and host London Knights.
It ended up playing out the way the Oil Kings needed it to, as Guelph beat London, 7-2, to improve to a perfect 3-0 in tournament play and earn a spot in Sunday’s Championship Final. The winless Knights were eliminated, meaning the Oil Kings will face the Val-d’Or Foreurs in Friday’s semifinal. The Foreurs beat the Oil Kings earlier in the week, 4-3, in a thrilling double-overtime game.