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Bylsma gives positive injury updates on Crosby, Malkin

Dan Bylsma provided good news Monday regarding his team's biggest stars.

Center Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are healthy and working hard this summer, the Penguins coach reported.

Malkin, by some estimates, is in the best shape of his life and motivated to atone for two substandard seasons. He sustained a torn ACL on Feb. 4, missing the remainder of last season.

"We have heard through (former Penguins defenseman) Sergei Gonchar," Bylsma said, "that he's never seen Geno working this hard and looking this good and this motivated at this time in the summer."

Bylsma confirmed that Malkin probably could have played had the Penguins reached a later playoff round.

Crosby, meanwhile, is working out in Nova Scotia and has reported no concussion-related problems. He last played Jan. 5.

"He's been working out two times a day," Bylsma said.

Bylsma also addressed other topics yesterday:

» Although Bylsma has had limited contact with Matt Cooke, who missed the final 17 games of the season because of a suspension, he believes the left wing will be a more responsible player next season.

"I think you'll see a guy who approaches the game a little differently," he said.

» On rumored realignment that would reduce the NHL to four divisions with eight teams each starting in 2012-13, Bylsma said, "Realignment may be coming in different shapes and forms. We aren't that eager to welcome good teams to our conference. Nashville seems like the logical one. Columbus is close, as well."

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