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2012 World Championship Central

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin is representing Team Russia at the 2012 IIHF World Championship from May 4-20 in Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland. Check in for continual updates on the tournament.



MONDAY, MAY 21

Evgeni Malkin tweeted this from his Twitter account (@malkin71_) on Sunday. Congratulations again, Geno!





--Michelle Crechiolo



SUNDAY, MAY 20

What an incredible showing for Penguins center Evgeni Malkin at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Malkin was named tournament MVP and Best Forward as Russia went a perfect 10-0 to win the Gold Medal Game over Slovakia on Sunday afternoon in Helsinki, Finland (click here for the game recap). They became the first champions to win all their games in regulation since the 1989 Soviets, who also won 10 straight.

Click here for the details on Geno's dominant overall performance at the tournament.


(Getty Images)

--Michelle Crechiolo



SATURDAY, MAY 19

Wow. What a day for Penguins center Evgeni Malkin.

Malkin scored a hat trick to power Russia past Finland, 6-2, and into the Gold Medal Game of the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

“My linemates helped me a lot. You can't just score goals on your own,” Malkin told the IIHF's website (full recap here). “We know Finland is a good team so we didn't expect to win by a similar score to what we beat Norway by.”

With today's hat trick, his second of the Worlds, Malkin has scored at least a point in all nine of Russia's games and has totaled 18 points (10G-8A) in the tournament. He is set to become just the second player to win the scoring title in both the NHL and World Championship in the same season, after Wayne Gretzky in 1981-82.

The Gold Medal Game will take place Sunday, May 20, at 2:30 p.m. Russia will face Slovakia, who topped the Czech Republic earlier today, in the championship.

Watch Malkin's postgame comments here:



--Michelle Crechiolo



THURSDAY, MAY 17

Evgeni Malkin and Team Russia are going to the semifinals of the 2012 IIHF World Championship!

The Penguins center earned an assist in Russia's 5-2 win over Norway in this morning's quarterfinal matchup (get the full recap here) to help advance his team to the tournament semifinals.

The semifinals will take place Saturday, May 19 at a time still to be determined. Russia will meet Finland, who topped Team USA, 3-2, on Thursday afternoon, in the semifinals.

Malkin has now earned at least a point in all eight of Team Russia's games at the tournament. With Norway's Patrick Thoresen eliminated from the Worlds, Malkin is now the tournament's leading active scorer with 15 points (7G-8A). His 15 points also set a new Team Russia record in World Championship competition.

--Michelle Crechiolo



WEDNESDAY, MAY 16

The round-robin portion of the 2012 IIHF World Championship is complete. Russia finished with a 7-0 sweep of games to finish with the top seed in the Stockholm group bracket.

Russian center Evgeni Malkin led the way for his country, scoring 7 goals and 14 points and earning a plus-13 rating. Malkin's 7 goals are the most in the tournament while his 14 points rank 2nd (Norway's Patrick Thoresen, 16).

Russia's lineup was recently boosted with the additions of Washington Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin. Ovechkin delivered some praise for his fellow countryman Malkin. Puck Daddy writer Dmitry Chesnokov tweeted the following...

     "Ovechkin: "Everyone knows that at this time Malkin is the best player in the world...I enjoyed watching him play from the bench" #Caps #Pens"
                                                           @dchesnokov

The tournament now shifts into a playoff format with the quarterfinals beginning Thursday, May 17. Russia will face Norway at 8:45 a.m. Eastern standard time. The semifinals will be played Saturday, May 19. The Gold Medal Game will be played Sunday, May 20.

--Sam Kasan



MONDAY, MAY 14

Russia completed a perfect 7-0 run through the round-robin portion of the 2012 IIHF World Championship following a 4-0 shutout of Italy.

Evgeni Malkin notched an assist in the contest - giving him at least 1 point in every game of the tournament. Malkin tops all players in goals (7) and points (14), while boasting a plus-13 rating.

Russia will open quarterfinal play Thursday, May 17.

---

Really good story by NHL.com's Michael Langr on how Malkin is tearing up the World Championships.

There is no question about who is the biggest superstar at the IIHF World Championship.

Switching Pittsburgh's No. 71 to No. 11 on the red Russian jersey, Malkin has shined above the tournament's other stars. Russia beat Sweden on Friday, and Malkin won the game almost by himself - he scored a hat-trick and added two assists in a 7-3 win over a team with twelve NHL players in the lineup.

Malkin leads all players at the tournament with 12 points (six goals, six assists) in five games. Dallas Stars forward Loui Eriksson (Sweden) is next with nine points, while Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty (United States) and the Detroit Red Wings' Henrik Zetterberg (Sweden) have eight.


Full story here.


(Getty Images)

--Sam Kasan



SUNDAY, MAY 13

Evgeni Malkin scored a goal to help Russia stay perfect in the IIHF World Championship with a 2-0 win against Czech Republic.

Malkin netted a one-timer 44 seconds into the third period to make it 2-0. Malkin leads all players in the WC tournament in goals (7) and points (13). He's recorded at least 1 point in every game.

Russia improves to 6-0 in the tournament. They face Norway Monday in the final game before the quarterfinals begin May 17.

--Sam Kasan



FRIDAY, MAY 11

There is no question now as to who is the dominant force in the 2012 IIHF World Championship. In the biggest game of the tournament so far - Russia and Sweden were both undefeated entering this afternoon's contest - Evgeni Malkin scored a hat trick and added 2 assists for a 5-point game as Russia overcame a 3-1 deficit in a 7-3 victory. (Full story here).

Malkin leads all players at the tournament in goals (6) and points (12). Meanwhile Team Russia improves to 5-0 in the Stockholm group.

"We played against the best team in this tournament but we focused for all 60 minutes," Malkin told the IIHF website. "The last five minutes the PK and defense did an unbelievable job, and the goalie, too."

Sweden held a 3-1 lead late in the second period, but a couple power plays helped Russia take over the game. Malkin scored a man-advantage tally with 4 minutes left in the middle frame. Just 2:27 minutes later Russia would tie the game at 3-3 another power-play goal.

Malkin and Russia took over in the final period. Malkin scored 2 goals and set up another in the last 20 minutes as Russia scored 6 unanswered goals to win the game 7-3.

Check out Malkin's post-game comments below:



--Sam Kasan



THURSDAY, MAY 10

Evgeni Malkin continues to light up the competition at the 2012 IIHF World Championship. Malkin scored the game-winning goal for Russia in his country's 3-1 victory against Denmark. Russia improves to 4-0 in the tournament, tied with Sweden for the top spot in the Stockholm group. (Full story here).

Malkin is Russia's leading scorer with 3 goals and 7 points. His 7 points are tied (Sweden's Loui Eriksson) for the most in the World Championship. Malkin has tallied at least 1 point in every contest.

Russia (4-0) and Sweden (4-0) will play Friday with the top spot in the Stockholm group on the line.

--Sam Kasan



TUESDAY, MAY 8

Evgeni Malkin picked up another point and Team Russia won another game. Malkin notched an assist as Russia pulled out a 2-0 victory over Germany Tuesday to improve to 3-0 in the tournament. (Full game story here).

Malkin's assist now gives him 6 points total (2G-4A) in the tournament. He is tied for the scoring lead with Sweden's Loui Eriksson (3G-3A).

Russia will play Denmark on Thursday.

--Sam Kasan



SUNDAY, MAY 6

Evgeni Malkin continues to rack up points in the 2012 IIHF World Championship with 2 assists in Russia's 4-2 victory over Norway Sunday. Malkin now has 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points in the tournament as Russia improves to 2-0. (Full game story here). Malkin's 5 points lead the tournament in scoring through 2 games.

"We have key guys like Malkin playing very well," Russia's Dmitri Kalinin told IIHF.com. "If they continue to do that, we'll see what happens. But we just have to keep playing hard.


(Getty Images)

--Sam Kasan



SATURDAY, MAY 5

Evgeni Malkin and Team Russia got off to a hot start in the 2012 IIHF World Championship. Malkin tallied 2 goals and 3 points in Russia's 5-2 victory over Latvia to open the tournament. (Full game story here). Russia will play Norway Sunday at 10:15 a.m. EST.

"We didn't have a great start today, maybe a little bit nervous," Malkin told the media. "In the second and third period we played a little bit better. I hope it's the same (Sunday).

"Every year is tough. We're coming to win this tournament. We have a great team and great goalie. How we played today is not bad and I hope we deserve this win."

Below are some post-game comments from Malkin and Latvia's Oskars Bartulis.



--Sam Kasan



THURSDAY, MAY 3

Welcome to World Championship Central, where we'll be providing continual updates on Penguins center Evgeni Malkin's quest for gold with Team Russia at this year's tournament, which will determine the seeding for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Malkin will be the only Penguins player participating in the World Championship. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek declined the invitation to represent the Czech Republic as his wife Helena is expecting their second child, while other Penguins players who received invites declined for a variety of reasons, namely to rest and recover from injuries.

Malkin told the media on Get Away Day that he would be meeting the national team in Moscow on May 2 and that they would depart for Sweden that day. But not only did he tell us – he showed us, too. Geno tweeted this photo from his official Twitter account, @malkin71_, with a caption in Russian that read "poletrli" – which means "Taking off!" in English. Good luck, Geno!

The preliminary round begins Friday, May 4, but 'Geno' and his teammates won't start play until Saturday. Russia will play a total of seven games in the preliminary round in hopes of making it to the quarterfinals, which take place May 17.

The official tournament schedule can be found by clicking here. Below are Team Russia's games with the start times in EASTERN STANDARD TIME. Every game of the World Championship will be live streamed here.


Team Russia Preliminary Round Schedule*
Date Opponent Time (EST)
Sat. May 5 Latvia 10:15 a.m.
Sun. May 6 Norway 10:15 a.m.
Tues. May 8 Germany 4:15 p.m.
Thu. May 10 Denmark 10:15 a.m.
Fri. May 11 Sweden 4:15 p.m.
Sun. May 13 Czech Republic 10:15 a.m.
Mon. May 14 Italy 4:15 p.m.

*All games will take place in Stockholm, Sweden.

--Michelle Crechiolo
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