Evgeni Malkin is unhappy with his game after a disappointing World Cup of Hockey 2016, but he is using it as motivation for the NHL season with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"I need to start now," Malkin told the Penguins website after practice Saturday. "I'm not playing great. I'm not happy with my game at the World Cup. But I will play better here and now."
Malkin played for Team Russia, which reached the semifinals but lost to Team Canada 5-3 last Saturday. He had a goal and three assists in four games after getting one assist in three pretournament games.
"It was not easy," Malkin said. "It was lots of games, hard games against the best players. A little bit nervous. Now that it's over, it's a good experience, but look forward."
Malkin, who had 58 points (27 goals) in 57 regular-season games with the Penguins last season, skated at practice with Patric Hornqvist and Scott Wilson.
"Play more with the puck," Malkin said of improving his game. "That's my game always, if I have the puck and I spend more time with the puck. The last four, five games in the World Cup, I tried to use my partners, but my confidence [is] when I play with the puck."
Malkin has never defeated Penguins teammate Sidney Crosby, who was Team Canada's captain, in international play, losing four times, according to Triblive.com.
"It's like a perfect team we played against," Malkin said of Team Canada. "We have good experience. Maybe we watch video with coaches and stuff a little bit more, how we play next time. It's like a good teacher. Canada [plays] a perfect game."