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Penguins' Malkin to test injured foot before Carolina game

| Saturday, March 20, 2010

Evgeni Malkin isn't necessarily in the mood for a matinee, but he will consider playing today at Mellon Arena when the Penguins take on Carolina at 1 p.m.

Malkin practiced Friday at Southpointe after missing games in New Jersey and Boston because of a foot injury. He would have preferred a night game against Carolina because that would have afforded him a morning skate to test the injury. Still, Malkin will test the injury before the game and hopes to play. "I have a chance to play," Malkin said. "It's not 100 percent. The game is at 1. That's not good for me. I would have liked to have the skate." Malkin made it through yesterday's 45-minute practice. About 20 minutes into the practice, he spoke briefly with trainer Chris Stewart but remained on the ice. He skated with determination in practice but did show signs of discomfort late in the session. "It's encouraging because it's the most he's been able to skate," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "But he's still a game-time decision."

» Don't look for the Penguins to take Carolina lightly. The Hurricanes started the season in dreadful fashion but have been one of the NHL's hottest teams following the Olympic break. Over the past 10 days, Carolina has defeated Washington and the Penguins. Both victories came in overtime. "Maybe it would be a dangerous game for a young team or something like that," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "But we know they're a good team, so it's not dangerous in the sense that we'll overlook them. They're playing well, and we're a mature team. We realize they're playing well."

» Penguins left wing Matt Cooke drew plenty of praise from his teammates following Thursday's game in Boston. Cooke dropped his gloves on his first shift and engaged in a spirited fight with Boston's Shawn Thorton. The Penguins appreciated the courage Cooke showed in facing a Bruins team that clearly was out to exact revenge for the hit that may have ended Marc Savard's season. "I think Cookie knows he got away with a bit of a dirty hit," Orpik said. "But you know, you have to give him credit. He handled it well. It was taken care of the way it should have been taken care of."

Additional Information:

Oenguins game day


1 p.m., Mellon Arena

TV/radio: FSN Pittsburgh; WXDX-105.9, Penguins Radio Network

Season series: Carolina leads, 2-1. The Penguins fell in overtime to the Hurricanes last week and have dropped their past two meetings with Carolina.

Penguins' streak: Won 1

Who to watch: Jordan Staal. The center's next goal will be his 20th of the season, which will give him 20 or more goals in three of his first four NHL seasons. Also, Staal will likely be matched up against his brother, Eric, for much of the afternoon.

Trends n 'at: Center Sidney Crosby has gone two games without registering a point after seeing his nine-game point streak end ... Center Evgeni Malkin is questionable to play after missing the last two games with a lower body injury ... Three of Carolina's past five games have gone to overtime.

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