Injured Crosby, Malkin to miss NHL All-Star Game

| Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, 10:33 a.m.

While the rest of the NHL was resting Thursday, the Penguins managed to squeeze in a few additional injuries.

It was a fitting start to the all-star break given their injury-marred first half.

Franchise centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will miss this weekend's All-Star Game in Columbus, the team announced Thursday.

Both will be out with lower-body injuries.

Malkin's injury is something that had been lingering for weeks, general manager Jim Rutherford said. Only during the second period of Tuesday's game in Philadelphia did it flare up.

He tried to test it during warmups Wednesday but adjourned to the locker room with about six minutes remaining.

Crosby had been playing with his injury for an unspecified period of time and will need “about a week” to heal, according to a team-issued release.

Captain Crosby, by rule, will miss the Penguins' Jan. 27 home game against the Winnipeg Jets. Malkin won't play either. How he long remains out is up in the air.

“With ‘Geno,' he won't be ready to play right after the break,” Rutherford told Trib Total Media. “It's probably an injury that will take a little time to heal.”

Rutherford declined to say whether Malkin's absence could be measured in days or weeks.

“I really won't know until we come back out of the break,” Rutherford said. “He's going to be in town here during the break rehabbing. We'll have a better idea once we regroup on Monday.”

Also sitting out Wednesday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks was defenseman Kris Letang.

Rutherford would not specify whether Letang was being treated for a head or neck issue, only that he was continuing to undergo tests.

“We won't know for sure until after the break,” Rutherford said. “I really can't give you a timeline on Kris.”

Coach Mike Johnston said Tuesday in Philadelphia that Letang underwent standard concussion-testing protocol when he was driven hard into the boards by Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo late in the first period.

Rinaldo, a repeat offender, was ejected from the game and faces a supplemental discipline hearing Monday, at which point he will receive a suspension of at least six games. He waived his right to an in-person hearing and instead will handle it by phone.

Malkin leads the team with 19 goals and is tied with Crosby for the team lead with 51 points. Letang has nine goals and 32 points.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will represent the Penguins this weekend at Nationwide Arena. The skills competition is Saturday followed by the game Sunday.

Nashville rookie forward Filip Forsberg will replace Malkin in the game. A replacement for Crosby has not yet been named.

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mackey@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

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