Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin understands, accepts punishment, still upset at Raffl
Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin is ready to put his one-game suspension behind him, acknowledging the punishment from the NHL was justified after he swung his stick near the head of Philadelphia Flyers forward Michael Raffl’s head Monday night.
“One game is probably OK,” he said Thursday after joining his teammates for an optional practice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry. “I played (dangerously). My stick (went) high.
“It’s fine. I try to forget that. It’s one game. It means money,” he said, smiling. “But the team won (Wednesday, 3-1 against the Edmonton Oilers). That’s good.”
Yet, he also said his action was in retaliation after Raffl cross-checked him and grabbed him around the mid-section before clubbing him in the back of his neck.
Malkin retaliated with his stick, barely missing Raffl, and he was given a game misconduct and five-minute major.
“This is my point (when) I talked to the league,” Malkin said. “I missed five games because I have problem with my neck. He hits me behind my neck. Of course, I’m a little bit upset.
“I understand it’s a tough game. He played dirty and referee didn’t give him nothing. I don’t understand that. But it doesn’t matter. Forget that. Whatever.”