Evgeni Malkin left last Saturday’s contest between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins after awkwardly sliding into the boards feet first. He didn’t return, and hasn’t played since. The Penguins have taken down the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers without “Geno” this week.
According to various sources, Pittsburgh will be forced to take on the Minnesota Wild without Malkin as well.
#NYR Evgeni Malkin has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. Rangers, per Dan Bylsma. Will not play Thursday either
— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) December 18, 2013
After Saturday’s game, Bylsma told reporters that Malkin was “walking around after the game.” He still hasn’t been able to return to action though. In his absence the Penguins have continued to pile up the points, undeterred while missing two of their top forwards—James Neal is still serving his suspension for kneeing Brad Marchand in the head—and five of their top six defensemen.
Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz have been doing a lot of heavy lifting, and that was the case last night against the Rangers.
Pittsburgh has won nine of its last 10 contests, and is sitting atop the Eastern Conference with a three-point lead over the Bruins. Malkin had been ruled out for the games against New York and Minnesota simultaneously, so the next chance he will have to return will come on Saturday against the Calgary Flames.