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Malkin hits 400-goal milestone

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Penguins

CALGARY, Alberta - Lemieux (690). Crosby (451). Jagr (439).

Evgeni Malkin joined that list of names on Tuesday night after scoring his 400th career NHL goal, becoming only the fourth Penguins player in team history to do so, in a 4-1 victory against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"Those are special names," Malkin said in the locker room afterward. "They're legends. I want to be top, too. I want to play my top-level game. I feel it right now. I hope I play five, six more years with the Penguins and we'll see. To be with Jagr, Lemieux, Crosby is amazing."

Malkin, 33, achieved the milestone after netting an empty-net goal late in the third period to clinch the win for Pittsburgh. But the how doesn't diminish the how many.

"I don't care how you get it, 400 goals is an awful lot of goals in this league," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "It's a testament to the type of player that he is, and what he's accomplished in the time that he's been here.

"He's been one of the best players of his generation. This is just one more accolade that provides more evidence of how good he is."

Malkin, who is playing in his 14th NHL season, had missed the previous two games due to an illness that kept him bedridden for three days. He was happy to be back on the ice and in the game, but even happier with the result.

"It wasn't my best game, but I don't care. We won an important two points," Malkin said. "I hope I feel better tomorrow. Small step tonight. I felt great before the game, but I knew it would be tough."

Video: PIT@CGY: Malkin scores 400th NHL goal

Malkin battled through to help his team defeat a Flames team that was 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. And in doing so, he became just the seventh Russian-born player to reach 400 goals, and sits 30 back of former Penguin Alex Kovalev.  

"Every goal is special. It's a good number for sure," Malkin said. "I've played with great teams. I enjoy playing here. It's a huge number, but I want more.

"I want 100 more."

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