As expected, Malkin will play. Set your lineup accordingly.
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Malkin practiced today between his normal linemates — James Neal and Steve Sullivan — but remains a ‘game-time decision’ tonight. Barring a setback, he almost certainly will be back in the lineup tonight.
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UPDATE 10/24/11: Malkin could return shortly, and in the best-case scenario tomorrow. From Inside Pittsburgh Sports:
Evgeni Malkin looked strong in today’s practice and will travel with the team to Long Island. Indications are we will are likely to see him in one of the next two games.
We will have an update tomorrow before puck drop so stay tuned.
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UPDATE 10/22/11: Coach Dan Blysma announced, via Twitter, that Malkin will not play tonight following today’s morning skate.During practice, Malkin skated on the team’s fifth line with Mark Letestu and Sidney Crosby, otherwise known as the scratches line.
Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, via Twitter, discussed his surprise in this decision, noting how ready the superstar looked. He should be expected back relatively soon although the team should remain cautious as to not further injure his surgically repaired knee.
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UPDATE 10/22/11: Don’t hold your breathe, but Evgeni Malkin has not been ruled out of tonight’s game, when the Pens host the New Jersey Devils. Stay tuned for a further update as we hope to update all fantasy hockey owners prior to the 7PM puck drop.
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UPDATE 10/20/11: Malkin won’t play tonight but did skate this morning, which is at least an encouraging sign. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Center Evgeni Malkin will miss his fourth game in a row, sixth overall, because of lingering sorness in his surgically repaired right knee. He skated early today but not in the team’s morning skate.
The team has no reason to rush him back in the lineup, especially if it could mean a further setback to his surgically repaired knee. At this point, the next big step would be practicing with his linemates.
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UPDATE 10/16/11: Malkin did not travel with the team and will miss the Penguins next two away games.
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UPDATE 10/16/11: Malkin could be held out of the lineup for a few more games due to his sore knee. While coach Dan Blysma was nondescript on his assessment of his superstar forward, Rob Rossi has a more detailed look at the injury. From Chipped Ice:
As for Malkin’s status, well, I know the guy pretty well, and one thing has been consistent with him over my tenure covering him: He doesn’t fail to dress unless he’s really in pain, and he’ll never publicly admit how much pain he’s in. (Case in point: In the 2008 Cup Final, which he played without the ability to take deep breaths because of a rib/lung injury – well, Malkin still hasn’t publicly acknowledged that injury.)
I caught a glimpse of Malkin the other night, and I’m not sure how he played on Thursday against Washington – let alone deliver two assists. The right knee he had surgically repaired last February is flaring with troublesome scar tissue, or so I suspect based on asking a few questions of Penguins personnel this week. Malkin has spent a lot of time after practices – and more after the game Thursday – receiving treatment on that knee.
Ouch. Sounds like Malkin won’t be back immediately, but also sounds like he will return after some rest. More to come…
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UPDATE 10/15/2011: Just one game after returning to the lineup, Evgeni Malkin will sit out tonight’s tilt when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Buffalo Sabres. According to coach Dan Blysma, not playing tonight is not a setback as his knee continues to be sore. Mike Colligan of The Hockey Writers, via Twitter, explained that he played through the pain due to the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl fundraiser.
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UPDATE 10/13/2011: Evgeni Malkin returns the lineup tonight after missing two consecutive games. Considered questionable due to soreness in his surgically repaired knee the 25-year-old is expected to skate between his usual linemates of Steve Sullivan and James Neal. Feel free to start him in any format.
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Tonight, the Pittsburgh Penguins are scheduled to play their home opener, hosting the Florida Panthers. For the second time in three days, they will be forced to suit up without superstar center Evgeni Malkin.
At this point in time, we actually have no idea what hurt the center. His second period goal in Saturday’s game turned out to be the game winner, which indicates he was still healthy during the game and likely injured sometime after the 13 minute mark. His last shift came at the 11:45 marker of the third period, with no specific stoppages taking him out of the tilt. We can only speculate it has something to do with his surgically repaired knee.
Pens coach Dan Blysma has even the media in the dark as he cryptically confirmed Malkin would not play tonight. From The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Malkin was injured Saturday in a win at Calgary and he did not play in a shootout loss Sunday at Edmonton because of “soreness,” Bylsma said. The Penguins have not identified the specific location of Malkin`s soreness, and Bylsma said Sunday this injury was not related to the surgery Malkin underwent in February to repair right-knee ligaments.
Expect further updates on the 1st/2nd rounder.