Penguins center Evgeni Malkin expected to miss next three games
February 9, 2016 8:02 PM
Evgeni Malkin has missed the last three games and could miss the next three as he continues to recover from an undisclosed lower body injury.
By Seth Rorabaugh / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Center Evgeni Malkin is expected to miss the next three games with an undisclosed injury that already has kept him out for three contests.
“We’re going to hold him out for this week,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “He’s going to work with our medical staff and our training staff for this week. We’re going to evaluate him as we go. But we all think it’s in the best interests of [Malkin] and the team to take this approach as far as getting him in a position of being ready to help this team.”
Last week, general manager Jim Rutherford suggested Malkin’s injury occurred in a 6-5 home win Feb. 2 against the Ottawa Senators. Other than describing it as “lower body,” the team has provided few details on his ailment. Sullivan said Malkin will not require a medical procedure.
“It’s not long term,” Sullivan said. “But I don’t want to sit here and say it’s day-to-day.”
Malkin is expected to miss a home game tonight against the New York Rangers as well as road games Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes and Monday against the Florida Panthers. He is the team’s second-leading scorer with 49 points (23 goals, 26 assists) in 49 games.
In addition to Malkin, center Matt Cullen and defenseman Kris Letang did not practice Tuesday at Consol Energy Center. Sullivan described their absences as “maintenance days.”
Centers Eric Fehr (undisclosed) and Nick Bonino (hand), right winger Beau Bennett (right shoulder) and defenseman David Warsofsky (concussion) remain on injured reserve.
Crosby on penalty-kill
Since taking over as coach, Sullivan has been hesitant to use center Sidney Crosby on the penalty-kill in order to spare him some of the wear and tear short-handed ice time typically presents.
But with Fehr and Bonino — two of the team’s top faceoff specialists — out, Crosby has been used more on the penalty-kill over the past two games to take draws. In an overtime road win Saturday against the Panthers, Crosby logged 1:29 of short-handed ice time. Monday against the Anaheim Ducks, Crosby had 34 seconds of short-handed ice time.
“He’s capable,” Sullivan said. “He can play in that circumstance. I’ve just chosen to use him a little bit more sparingly in that circumstance until [this past] weekend. I think given the circumstance that we’re in with some of the players that we have out, you’re probably going to see Sid a lot more.”
Half a century after the NHL awarded a franchise to Pittsburgh, the Penguins unveiled a logo for their 50th anniversary.
It includes the Penguins’ traditional “skating” penguin logo along with three Stanley Cup silhouettes to commemorate the franchise’s championships in 1991, 1992 and 2009.
The Penguins plan a season-long celebration in 2016-17, which will begin with a fan festival Aug. 27-28.
While the Penguins did not begin play until the 1967-68 season, the NHL approved expansion to Pittsburgh Feb. 9, 1966.
Seth Rorabaugh: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @emptynetters.
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