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Penguins notebook: Malkin skates without concussion symptoms

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Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 8:15 p.m.
 

Center Evgeni Malkin on Thursday skated at the Penguins' practice facility at Southpointe for a second consecutive day. Malkin (concussion) has missed the past three games, and there is no timetable for his return, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said before a game at Carolina.

The reigning MVP apparently is feeling better. Malkin took to Twitter on Thursday with video of him successfully shooting a puck from one end of the ice into a bucket in front of the goal at the other end.

Malkin has not experienced concussion symptoms since the weekend, Bylsma said.

He was injured last Friday early in the third period of the Penguins' home win over Florida. After a hit from Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson, Malkin crashed into the end zone boards. His head hit the boards and his neck snapped in a whiplash motion, but Bylsma said Malkin's only symptoms were short-term memory loss.

NHL concussion protocol calls for Malkin to gain clearance from a physician or medial expert with concussion training before resuming contact activity. He must pass a baseline cognitive test for return-to-play clearance.

• Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner played after missing five games with a concussion. Skinner worked the left wing on a line centered by Jordan Staal. Hurricanes defenseman Jamie McBain played for the first time after missing four games with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

• Staal's first game against the Penguins, with whom he spent his first six seasons, overshadowed the Carolina homecoming of Penguins center Brandon Sutter. Penguins general manager Ray Shero said he would not have traded Staal to Carolina in June had Sutter not been part of the package. Hurricanes Eric Staal said Sutter, a former Carolina alternate captain, “felt like a brother that wasn't my blood.” Sutter's dressing-room stall was next to Staal's during their days with the Hurricanes. “I was ecstatic to have Jordan in the loop here, but to lose Brandon was tough,” Eric Staal said. “He was the first one I texted after (the trade) happened. It was a little downer on that side of it.”

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