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Penguins' Malkin to miss next two games

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Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 1:06 p.m.

NEW YORK — Center Evgeni Malkin has returned to the ice. He just is not going to play on it until at least Saturday.

Malkin (left leg) is out for a home game against Minnesota on Thursday night, coach Dan Bylsma said Wednesday before the Penguins played the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Malkin also did not play against the Rangers.

Malkin's latest injury will keep him out for at least three games. A previous lower-body injury cost him two games this month.

Malkin began Wednesday as the NHL's third-leading scorer with 41 points.

He was injured during a hard, backward-sliding crash into the end-zone boards against Detroit. Initial medical tests showed no ligament damage.

Malkin will meet again with team doctors before the weekend, Bylsma said.

• The Penguins' oft-changing second line had another look against the Rangers. Jayson Megna (lower body) was replaced at right wing by Brian Gibbons, who was recalled Tuesday from AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Megna was injured in the Penguins' over Toronto on Monday. Malkin is the regular second-line center. Jussi Jokinen, normally the line's left winger, has filled that role in Malkin's absence. Jokinen will center a third new right winger against Minnesota on Thursday as James Neal is set to return from a five-game suspension.

• Top Penguins brass gathered in New York for internal meetings Wednesday. Ron Burkle joined fellow majority co-owner Mario Lemieux, CEO David Morehouse and COO Travis Williams for a previously scheduled session. All but Burkle, a billionaire grocery magnate, live in Pittsburgh. Burkle, who resides primarily in London, often attends Penguins games at Madison Square Garden.

• The Penguins have not committed to using alternate uniforms for next season. Executives still are mulling potential designs for the next alternate jerseys, including one that would have ties to the uniforms worn by the Penguins' 1991-92 Stanley Cup teams.

— Rob Rossi

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