Penguins center Evgeni Malkin gets it. He understands that this is a trip to a city where hockey folks come in June to let loose a little and, oh yeah, stage an awards gala.

"We'll see [other players later Tuesday night], go out, just have fun," he said Tuesday at a large gathering of NHL awards nominees and reporters.

Malkin looked around a crowded room at the Wynn hotel for Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, his teammate on Russia's gold-medal squad at the world championships a month ago. Datsyuk had come and gone.