Penguins' Malkin to miss 2-3 weeks with foot injury
Evgeni Malkin can't catch a break. Neither can the Penguins.
On one of his hottest streaks of the season, Malkin will miss two to three weeks with a foot injury. The Penguins are optimistic he'll be ready to play when the Stanley Cup playoffs begin April 16.
Coach Dan Bylsma confirmed the injury took place around the net on Malkin's first shift against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. He played the remainder of the game without any apparent problem.
Bylsma, along with a number of other sources close to Malkin, confirmed to the Tribune-Review that surgery doesn't appear necessary.
“The doctors don't indicate that's the case,” Bylsma said.
Malkin was playing some of his finest hockey of the season before the injury, producing four goals and two assists in a two-game span following a conversation with captain Sidney Crosby that apparently revitalized his confidence following a disappointing Olympic experience in Sochi, Russia.
Malkin had missed nine games earlier this season because of a leg injury suffering in Detroit and two games because of an injury that occurred during a morning skate.
Malkin was injured in December after a scoring binge that started in late November and is again being slowed by an injury while on a hot streak.
“He had a strong couple of games,” Bylsma said. “It's disappointing. I'd like him to remember and watch the last couple of games in terms of how he was playing.”
Center Brandon Sutter will replace Malkin on the second line with left wing Jussi Jokinen and right wing James Neal.
“You just want to play the same way and just be solid defensively,” Sutter said. “Playing with (Neal) and (Jokinen), the offensive side will take care of itself. It's more the defensive part that I've got to make sure I'm still sharp with. Hopefully create some more offensively.”
Bylsma has wanted to tinker with his lineup, and playing Sutter with Jokinen was something he had in mind. Now he'll get his chance to see those two together, though not on the terms he would have preferred.
“We put them on a line together in Anaheim, and it was our best line in that game,” Bylsma said. “We wanted to see the possibility of Jokinen and Sutter as a duo. We're going to see that now.”
Malkin and Neal represent one of hockey's most lethal duos. The Penguins believe they will be reunited in time for the playoffs.
“Any time if you lose a player like (Malkin), it's a big part of the team,” Jokinen said. “But at the same time, we have dealt with lots of injuries during the year. And that might be the case, too, in the playoffs when we're losing one of our big names to injury. We still need to find ways to win games, and I think we have done that thus far this season. We just have to keep doing that.”
Other Penguins to suffer significant injuries this season include Pascal Dupuis, Neal, Beau Bennett, Tanner Glass, Joe Vitale, Kris Letang, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, Rob Scuderi, Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett, Chris Conner and Tomas Vokoun.
Jayson Megna was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earlier Tuesday and began the game against the Phoenix Coyotes on the fourth line Glass and Craig Adams.
The domino effect on the power play had Olli Maatta on the top unit and rugged defenseman Orpik on the point of the second unit.
Josh Yohe and Chris Adamski are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach Yohe at email@example.com or via Twitter at @JoshYohe_Trib. Reach Adamski at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Spaling, Penguins agree to $4.4 million deal
- New Penguins coach to meet with Malkin
- Penguins assistant Martin gets new job title
- Some of the top prospects in Penguins system to be in town for camp