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Malcolm Subban wins first battle against brother P.K.

by Arpon Basu

MONTREALP.K. Subban has a rather selective memory.

One would think that the first time the Montreal Canadiens defenseman ever got a shot on goal on his younger brother Malcolm in an NHL game, albeit in the preseason, would be a memorable moment.

Not so, it would appear.

"It was a pretty good experience," Subban said following Montreal's 6-3 loss to the Boston Bruins on Monday night. "I don't think I got a shot on him."

When he was told he did, Subban was surprised.

"Did I?"

Yes P.K., you did, and it was stopped.

"He saved it? Well…"

Over in the Bruins' locker room, the more-reserved Malcolm Subban was reveling in his first-ever game action wearing a Bruins sweater, and doing it in a place like Bell Centre against his big brother.

Not surprisingly, Malcolm was well aware that P.K. did indeed get a shot on goal at 8:12 of the third period; a rather innocuous snap shot from the blue line that the Bruins rookie easily steered aside with his pad. It was one of 12 saves he made on 12 shots, but probably the most special.

"He had one, it was probably the slowest shot I had all night," Malcolm said. "A little knucklepuck on net."


Malcolm, 19, earned temporary bragging rights in the Subban household with his shutout performance in his first "official" game against his big brother P.K., 24. The game was played in front of their father, Karl, their grandfather and their next-door neighbor from the Toronto-area home they grew up in.

"My dad's not wearing any Montreal or Boston stuff," Malcolm said of Karl, a longtime Canadiens fan. "So he's staying pretty neutral now."

Malcolm came into the game at 9:09 of the second period to a bit of booing from the Canadiens faithful, just after Max Pacioretty scored Montreal's third goal on eight shots against starter Chad Johnson to tie the game 3-3. He had a few close calls early, most notably when a Nick Tarnasky shot floated just over the crossbar off a scramble, but Malcolm was able to settle down and get focused on the task at hand.

"I liked his game tonight. He looked in control, he looked calm, he made saves look easy because he was well positioned," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "He's certainly on the right track and I couldn't be happier for him tonight, playing against his brother and playing so well."

P.K. said he had no extra motivation to score, even though just a few minutes after Malcolm entered the game he was frantically banging his stick on the ice asking for a pass in the slot … in a preseason game.

"No, I don't think so," P.K. Subban said when asked if he had a bit of extra motivation to score against his brother. "I'm just playing the game. If I would have scored on him, great, but I was just trying to help our team win."

But it was in fact his little brother's team that won. And P.K. was sure he would be hearing all about it.

"We made eye contact [after the game], but we lost the game so I'm not really going to talk too much or smile too much. But I'll see him in a bit here," P.K. said. "I'm sure he'll rib me about the loss."

It surely won't be the last time this sibling rivalry becomes a source of ribbing in the Subban family.

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