Evgeni Malkin didn’t take line rushes with any of the top four units for the Pittsburgh Penguins this morning, signaling that the All-World forward could miss his sixth consecutive game with a lower-body injury. While Malkin did skate, he wasn’t a part of Pittsburgh’s normal practice routine.
He could surprise and be a game-time decision, but at this point it seems unlikely.
#Pens lines: Kunitz-Crosby-Vitale Conner-Jokinen-Neal Zolnierczyk-Sutter-Kobasew Glass-Sill-Adams
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 27, 2013
Malkin hasn’t played since December 14, when Pittsburgh played the Detroit Red Wings. He appeared for less than 13 minutes in that contest, but still managed to scorch the Wings for three points.
That production was pretty much in line with how Malkin had producing up until the time of the injury, as the forward had launched himself to the top of the league in points and had entered the Hart Trophy conversation.
The 27-year-old could still end up back in the talks, but he’s struggled to stay healthy this year. He’s projected to play in 75 games at this point, but could still crack the century mark as far as points go. If Malkin doesn’t play tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes, his next chance to get back into action will be on Sunday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.