TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Opponents targeting Penguins star Malkin with plenty of size

Penguins/NHL Videos

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012
 

The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin was targeted by the Buffalo Sabres' biggest forward Sunday, a familiar approach for stopping the league's scoring leader. But that strategy isn't working as well as it once did, coach Dan Bylsma said Monday.

"Geno has done a real good job with guys who have targeted him physically," he said. "In the past years, he may have responded after the whistle in a way that was probably detrimental to his game. He's really been focused."

The Sabres matched Malkin's line with forwards Paul Gaustad, Patrick Kaleta and Nathan Gerbe, with the 6-foot-5, 212-pound Gaustad shadowing the Penguins star. Malkin had five shots and assisted on Deryk Engelland's goal, but it was his third straight game without a goal.

Bylsma said Malkin has learned to better use his body to create space and protect the puck. At 6-3, Malkin is hardly small.

"He wins the physical battle a lot of times," Bylsma said. "That's something that, playing against a bigger body like Gaustad, he's going to have to deal with. But he still creates the room and still creates scoring opportunities."

> > Malkin, forwards James Neal and Matt Cooke and defenseman Brooks Orpik did not participate in Monday's practice. Bylsma said they were missing for maintenance days of "varying degrees" and are suffering from "varying bumps and bruises" that might cause a lineup change today against the New York Rangers. Cooke's left arm was hit by a Chris Kunitz shot Sunday.

> > Forward Eric Tangradi was recalled from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He's scoreless in 12 games with the Penguins this season.

> > As expected, captain Sidney Crosby did not practice with the team, instead skating beforehand.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Penguins

  1. Penguins notebook: Martin not concerned about expiring contract
  2. Crosby appreciates his relationship with Penguins fans
  3. Penguins goalie prospects push each other amid friendly competition
  4. Recchi relishes new role with Penguins
  5. AHL overtime rules create some confusion for Penguins prospects
  6. Penguins’ Johnston eager to implement up-tempo style
  7. Ex-Penguin Malone looking for 2nd chance
  8. Penguins’ Dea impresses in rookie tournament opener
  9. Penguins confident Pouliot will be healthy, ready for camp
  10. Rookie tourney offers opportunity for Penguins’ prospects
  11. Penguins goalie Fleury, a free agent at end of season, wants to stay
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.