Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Malkin out 6-8 Weeks with Injury No. 2 Scorer Will Miss Crucial Stretch

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Malkin out 6-8 Weeks with Injury No. 2 Scorer Will Miss Crucial Stretch

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - Navigating a busy schedule rife with quality opponents won't be the Penguins' only challenge in the final four weeks of the NHL season.

It might not even be the biggest.

That's because center Evgeni Malkin, who was hurt Friday night in their 3-2 victory in Columbus, will be out for the next 6-8 weeks because of an undisclosed injury, the team announced Saturday.

Malkin, the Penguins' No. 2 scorer with 27 goals and 31 assists in 57 games, was injured in a collision with Columbus defenseman Dalton Prout and appeared to hurt his left shoulder/arm/wrist.

Nick Bonino filled Malkin's spot between Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel on the second line in the Penguins practice Saturday in Greenburgh, N.Y., although it's not clear how coach Mike Sullivan plans to replace Malkin for their game against the New York Rangers at 12:38 p.m. today at Madison Square Garden.

Veteran Matt Cullen handled that duty capably for part of the time Malkin and Bonino were injured earlier this season.

Shortly after Malkin's prognosis was announced, the Penguins recalled forwards Dominik Simon and Conor Sheary from their minor league team in Wilkes-Barre and returned winger Tom Sestito to the Baby Penguins.

Malkin returned to Pittsburgh for further evaluation rather than accompany his teammates here.

He missed 10 consecutive games last month, during which time the Penguins went 5-4-1. Their all-time record when he has been injured is 70-45-9.

The Rangers, coming off a 3-2 overtime loss Saturday in Detroit, are in second place in the Metropolitan Division, seven points ahead of the Penguins. The New York Islanders are third in the division, four points ahead of the Penguins.

The Penguins hold the No. 2 wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Red Wings.

Even with Malkin, the Penguins were a long shot to overtake either New York club before the regular season ends April 9 considering they've managed to win as many as two games in a row only twice since the All-Star break at the end of January. …

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