Evgeni Malkin raises stick at Predators fans after Game 3 loss (Video)

NASHVILLE – Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final was a frustrating one for Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

For the first time ever in the playoffs, he and Sidney Crosby were both held without a shot. So he was in no mood for tomfoolery after the 5-1 loss to the Nashville Predators, as was evidenced in this unfortunate interaction with a fan while leaving the ice.

Here’s the video that captured Malkin raising his stick in a threatening manner to the Predators fans that were verbally assailing him and throwing giveaway playoff towels at Penguins players.

[NSFW warning for adult language]

As you can see, a fan in a backwards Predators hat has his hands cupped around his face, focusing his chirping at Malkin as he walked by. Whatever he said, we imagine it was something a bit harsher than “your breath stinks.”

So Malkin turns around, raises his stick and momentarily acts like he’s going to brain thee. And then walks away.

Let’s state the obvious: Fans shouldn’t throw crap at players, and players should take their sticks and wield them like that at a fan.

Let’s state the even more obvious: There is ZERO REASON why every arena, at the end of a period of play, doesn’t have a temporary canopy over the visiting team’s tunnel to the back. Who knows if that prevents this, because clearly the wrong thing was said, but it would prevent the drizzle of commemorative towels on the Penguins as they left the ice.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.