Evgeni Malkin will remain out of the lineup

PENGUINS NOTEBOOK

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Penguins coach Dan Bylsma took a breath Friday before he delivered his daily injury update. He needed a couple more during the delivery, too.

It wasn't that the news was so terrible -- it wasn't great for the team, either, but the Penguins have had a lot of experience dealing with a revolving lineup -- it's just that the list was rather long.

There were no substantial updates on center Evgeni Malkin, who missed a 5-1 win Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks, or winger Pascal Dupuis, who left that game.

Both have unspecified injuries and are listed as day to day, and neither practiced at Southpointe.

Malkin, though, did not travel with the Penguins to Boston, where they play tonight.

Dupuis did accompany the team, although it's unclear whether he will play.

Malkin, who was second in the NHL with 37 points going into Friday, was at Southpointe. He was not walking with any noticeable difficulty and was not wearing a brace or a wrap.

Winger Andrew Ebbett, who had been playing on the third line, broke his ankle Thursday night blocking a shot in the third period and is out indefinitely, Bylsma said. Ebbett was placed on injured reserve.

For reinforcement, the Penguins recalled forward Harry Zolnierczyk from the American Hockey League. He is leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with nine goals.

Zolnierczyk was expected to join the Penguins in Boston.

Meanwhile, defenseman Brooks Orpik did not practice. He was given a "maintenance day," according to Bylsma, but traveled to Boston.

Defenseman Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) and winger Tanner Glass (broken hand) continued to skate separately from the team.

The Penguins have lost 132 man-games to injury.

Crosby's play limited

The game Thursday night was more lopsided than might have been predicted against a strong team such as San Jose. That afforded Bylsma the opportunity to pull back the reins on center and NHL leading scorer Sidney Crosby in the third period.

Crosby, who had three assists in the second period to reach 41 points in 30 games, played a season-low 16 minutes, 46 seconds.

He was coming off playing a season-high 26:48 Tuesday in a 3-2 overtime win against the Islanders in New York.

"That's a lot of minutes," said Bylsma, who didn't rely on Crosby as much Thursday for power plays (the Penguins only had two, none in the third period) and faceoffs.

"In a game like [Thursday] night we played our four lines -- or what was left of our four lines [after injuries] -- and Jussi [Jokinen] was winning [faceoffs] on the left side and Brandon [Sutter] was winning draws on the right side ... we purposely scaled back a little bit [with Crosby] and preserved a little bit to not have to grind so hard with a lot of minutes."

Crosby didn't mind.

"It's nice if you have a lead like that to get a little rest with playing so many games, but it was a pretty fast-paced game and it wasn't like you could just coast," he said. "It was good, but it didn't feel that much different."

Boston bruised, too

Boston also played Thursday, a 2-1 loss at Montreal and, like the Penguins, didn't come away unscathed. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk was taken off of the ice on a stretcher after a hit by the Canadiens' Max Pacioretty. Boychuk was released from a hospital in time to travel home with the Bruins, and he was to have an MRI on his lower back, coach Claude Julien said.

Mario back

Fans will get a chance to watch Penguins Hall of Fame center and co-owner Mario Lemieux on the ice Jan. 4 at Consol Energy Center.

The Mario Lemieux Foundation announced that two games that day that are part of the Mario Lemieux fantasy hockey camp will be open to the public. Lemieux will be participating.

Other former NHL players expected to participate include Mark Recchi, Paul Coffey, Bill Guerin, Tie Domi, Rick Tocchet, Theo Fleury, Gary Roberts and Jay Caufield.

The games are at 2 and 3:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for both games. Call the Penguins ticket office at 412-642-7367.

Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly.


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