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Evgeni Malkin hopes Penguins will let him go to Olympics

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Russian star Evgeni Malkin said he intends to go to the Olympics, should the Pittsburgh Penguins allow it, according to an Associated Press translation of a “Soviet Sport” report.

“There’s nothing good about this at all. We’re going to think, make calls, get advice, talk with other hockey guys,” Malkin said, according to the AP translation. “My opinion is that I want to go to the Olympics.”

Malkin, 30 and a three-time Olympian, hopes to defy the NHL’s stance of not participating in the Winter Games, but he’s not quite as adamant as countryman Alex Ovechkin.

Malkin hasn’t played since March 15 due to a shoulder injury and thus hasn’t spoken much (or at all) with U.S. media since the NHL’s announcement on Monday that it will not participate at the Winter Games.

Malkin has been the most prolific Russian point-scorer per game each of the last two seasons, though he has missed chunks of time due to injuries.

Other Russian stars are not as outspoken on the Olympic issue.

The St. Louis Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko reportedly said he would think about the situation in the summer.

Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning reportedly said, “No thoughts about it. For me, I’m focusing on the playoffs right now.”

The agent for Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin said his skater would be ready to go to the Olympics if it could be legally worked out, according to Russian media.

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MORE: Gary Bettman chimes in on Alex Ovechkin

Green Bay Packers pull another Olympic sport TD celebration

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We’re halfway to a decathlon of Olympic sport touchdown celebrations over the last two seasons.

After the hurdles, the long jump, the bobsled and the relay came the race walk on Sunday.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, once part of a three-man bobsled team, led three other teammates in a race walk after scoring in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. (Adams later left the game with a concussion.)

Adams won the race walk, which was much, much shorter than the standard Olympic distances of 20km and 50km, over teammates Jordy NelsonRandall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.

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Canada in control of hockey rivalry going into Olympics

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Four years ago, the U.S. women’s hockey team rode a four-game winning streak over rival Canada into the Olympics, then lost both games in Sochi, including a gut-wrenching overtime final.

This time, Canada goes into the Winter Games having won four straight.

The Canadians beat the Americans 2-1 in overtime in Edmonton on Sunday night, taking their pre-Olympic series 5-3 overall.

“I don’t think it was our best performance,” Canada coach Laura Schuler said. “There’s still more work to do.”

The Canadians were led by their stalwarts — captain Marie-Philip Poulin scored in regulation, Sochi gold medalist Jennifer Wakefield scored 26 seconds into overtime and longtime goalie Shannon Szabados stopped 34 of 35 shots.

Hilary Knight netted the U.S. goal, with Maddie Rooney making 24 saves.

“The goal for us is to be hitting on all cylinders in February,” U.S. coach Robb Stauber said.

The U.S. appeared to be in that kind of form until about two weeks ago.

Before this losing streak, the U.S. had a 12-4 record against Canada since the start of 2015, including taking the last three world championship finals.

At one point, the U.S. won six straight games over a 12-month stretch, its longest streak over Canada since it famously won eight straight going into the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics then lost the gold-medal game.

Canada also beat the U.S. in their last four meetings before the 2006 Olympics and five straight going into the 2010 Olympics.

The U.S. Olympic team will be announced Jan. 1. The national-team roster is at 25 players (22 skaters, three goalies), but the Olympic roster is 23 (20 skaters, three goalies).

“Can’t live in the past, can’t live in the future, so tonight we were worried about this game,” U.S. captain Meghan Duggan said, according to the Canadian Press. “We weren’t looking ahead to February.”

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