Before the Pittsburgh Penguins morning skate on Tuesday in advance of the Penguins’ home game against the New Jersey Devils at PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh Hockey Now arrived early and found a superstar in the Penguins practice-squad workout.
Malkin was not exerting himself but it represents another step forward in Malkin’s recovery.
He later appeared in a non-contact jersey during the full squad morning skate. Malkin missed that last 16 games with a lower-body injury suffered in early March after a hard open-ice check by Boston Bruins defenseman Jared Tinordi.
The Penguins star center has 24 points (8g, 16a) in 29 games this season.
Also on Tuesday, winger Kasperi Kapanen joined the morning skate in a white non-contact jersey. Kapanen has been out since March 24. In 30 games, he has 21 points, including seven goals.
Kapanen’s season was delayed as he battled immigration issues due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have 11 games remaining in the shortened 2020-21 NHL season. They’re currently in third place, one point behind the New York Islanders and three points back of the Washington Capitals. The Penguins have a seven-point lead on the New York Rangers for the final playoff spot.
“It’s really encouraging on our part,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. “Getting into a competitive environment is an important part of the rehab process.”
Sullivan said the Penguins do have a time frame for each to return, but declined to share it. You know how hockey injury news goes…
Here is the video of Kasperi Kapanen taking a shift in the Penguins line rushes and drills during the morning skate. The skate represents the first time either Malkin or Kapanen have joined the full squad.