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Evgeni Malkin channels inner Mario Lemieux for goal of the year candidate (Video)

Sean Leahy
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Back in October, Bodog (now Bovada) gave odds of 30/1 that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin would win the Hart Trophy and 30/1 that he'd win the Art Ross Trophy. If you laid some coin down, there's a good chance you'll be cashing in at least one of those bets come June.

Malkin was at it again this afternoon doing an 8-1 rout of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Early in the third period and on the way to a hat trick and 4-point game, Malkin took a pass from his own defensive zone and, well, just watch ...

As Bob Errey pointed out, the goal was reminiscent of Mario Lemieux's in Game 2 of the 1991 Stanley Cup Final against the Minnesota North Stars (with a memorable Bob Cole call) with Dwayne Roloson playing the role of Jon Casey.

It was Malkin's ninth career hat trick and second against the Lightning this season. In three games this season against Tampa, Malkin has eight goals and 11 points. His four-point night also moved him out of a tie with Steven Stamkos atop the NHL's points leaderboard with 77, and within seven goals of the Tampa sniper in the Rocket Richard race.

We wrote last weekend that the MVP race is down to Malkin and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. If Malkin posts a few more of these dominant performances over the final month and a half of the season, there might not be a race at all.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter @Sean_Leahy

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