David Legwand had but one job in the Red Wings' 5-4 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins: shadowing Evgeni Malkin. According to Shiftchart.com, the Red Wings centre shared the ice with Malkin on almost every shift.
That's one of hockey's toughest assignments, and a quick glance at the stat sheet tells us Legwand struggled with it. By the end of the third period, Malkin had scored twice, registered seven shots on goal, and his linemate James Neal had a game-high 10. Overall, Malkin controlled a game-high 75% of Corsi events at even-strength. In other words, he absolutely mopped the floor with Legwand, who spent most of the night in his own zone trying to slow down a guy that was bigger and faster than he was.
At 16:14 of the third period, shortly after Pittsburgh had tied the game at four, Legwand decided he'd had just about enough of the Penguin centre. At the end of a battle at the side of the goal, during which Legwand lost his helmet, he decided to take out a little frustration by giving Malkin a jab.
A split-second later, he'd been ejected from the game for delivering a groin-spear right to Malkin's, well, groin-spear:
Good. Lord. And right in front of the official, too.
Even the thought of being hit with that stick makes me double over in pain. How Malkin stayed in the game is beyond me. They'd have stretchered me out of there.
It was a stupid penalty for Legwand to take, and he was assessed a five-minute major for butt-ending, as well as a game misconduct. With the Red Wings desperate for points, taking a five-minute major in the final minutes of a tie game is a good way to wear the goat horns.
Fortunately for Legwand, the Penguins didn't score before his major expired, and the Red Wings would go on to win the game late in the extra frame, so he can rest easy. I mean, he'll always be known as the guy who was so overmatched by Evgeni Malkin he felt the need to stab the Penguin centre in the junk, so there's that, but at least Detroit got the two points.