The Hockey News player of the week for March 16 to 22, 2009 is Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin.
Malkin, the NHL’s leading scorer, became the first player to surpass the vaunted 100-point mark this year (he’s up to 105 with a 10-point lead in the scoring race) by tallying eight points in three games.
The Big Russian Penguin began his week for the red-hot Pens with a huge game Tuesday versus Atlanta, with two goals and five points – including three with the man advantage – in 20:12 of ice time.
Malkin followed up his thrashing of the Thrashers with a game-winning goal and an assist against Los Angeles and an assist in a losing effort against Philadelphia on Sunday.
For the week, Malkin had three goals and five assists, was plus-1 with five power play points, while averaging just less than 21-and-a-half minutes of ice time per contest.