The Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin for 1-2 weeks because of what coach Dan Bylsma would only describe as “an upper-body injury” — almost surely the right shoulder — Sunday night after the 6-1 rout of the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center.
Bylsma did not disclose any specifics related to the injury, but the prognosis for recovery was new. He also confirmed earlier in the day that this injury has not come with any new concussion symptoms. Malkin recently missed four games to a concussion, returning March 4.
“There is not a concern,” Bylsma said of a possible new concussion. “Just an upper-body injury.”
This injury came Saturday in Toronto, where Malkin's right shoulder was driven hard into the boards by the Maple Leafs' James van Riemsdyk. Chris Stewart, the Penguins' head athletic trainer, appeared to be checking that shoulder when Malkin returned to the bench.
Malkin's place centering the second line was filled Sunday by Dustin Jeffrey, working between James Neal and Beau Bennett.
“We're going to need the second and third lines to play bigger roles, more prominent roles,” Bylsma said. “Maybe look at a checking role against the top line of the other team and have guys step up.”
Bylsma indicated after the game Sunday he'll stick with those lines. It couldn't have hurt that the Penguins had just flooded the Islanders' goal.
“We don't expect to score that many every night, buy we do pride ourselves on our depth,” Sidney Crosby said. “We obviously don't want to get into the habit of playing without Geno, but it's good to know we can.”
Malkin, the NHL's reigning MVP, has five goals and 19 assists in playing 21 of the Penguins' 26 games.
Dejan Kovacevic is a sports columnist for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Dejan_Kovacevic
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