CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — It’s impossible to read anything into it at this point, but injured Penguins Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin were the only players missing from Tuesday’s practice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Coach Mike Sullivan called both day-to-day, Malkin with a lower-body injury, Hagelin with an upper-body injury. Sullivan did not say another word about their statuses. Can’t read too much into that, either, although that’s probably at least better than both being deemed out, or getting absolutely nothing.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now saw Malkin walking in the hallway outside the locker room after practice. He seemed to have a slight limp, but no orthopedic walking boot, brace, ice pack, etc. Again, not a lot of information, but it’s all there is for now.
As of this writing, Game 1 of the Penguins’ second-round playoff series against Washington has not been announced. It looks as if Thursday or Saturday seem most likely, since Capital One Arena in D.C. is not available Friday. Saturday would give Malkin and Hagelin a couple extra days, of course.
Malkin missed Sunday’s clinching win at Philadelphia after getting hurt in Game 5 last Friday. He apparently has a left leg problem after awkwardly tangling with Flyers center Jori Lehtera on a collision in the corner.
Hagelin left Sunday’s game and didn’t return after a crunching high blow by the Flyers’ Claude Giroux. You would have to think Hagelin went through the concussion protocol, but it’s not known if Hagelin suffered a concussion or another upper-body injury.
The Penguins typically acknowledge concussions or if a player was put through the league concussion protocol.
Malkin was the team’s leading scorer during the regular season. He has three goals, five points in five games this postseason and is a main cog on the power play. Hagelin, a top penalty-killer, has two goals and three points in six games.