The Pittsburgh Penguins who have lost four straight games with uneven efforts may get some big-time help Monday night in Philadelphia. Evgeni Malkin, Justin Schultz and Zach Aston-Reese were full participants in the Penguins morning skate, Monday.
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said Malkin will likely play tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“Malkin is probable tonight, but he will be a game-time decision. Schultz and Aston-Reese are out,” Sullivan said.
Malkin missed the last five games since he suffered a hand injury after being hit by Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi in the first period on Jan. 30. Malkin finished the game including two assists and a fight with Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos. The pair tumbled to the ice on Malkin’s already injured hand.
“The next day, I felt so bad,” Malkin said last Friday.
Aston-Reese, has been out since he suffered a broken hand on Jan. 8 after a fight with Florida Panthers forward Colton Sceviour. Schultz is inching towards a return. He sustained a fractured left leg on Oct. 13.
New Penguins Lines
Sullivan also rolled the troops through different line combinations, Monday morning. Of note, Nick Bjugstad is back to right wing, Phl Kessel to left wing, Teddy Blueger will get a seat and Hornqvist has been lowered to the fourth line.
Of course, nothing is official until game time.
According to the Penguins Twitter account, the morning lines were:
Teddy Blueger appears to be a healthy scratch.
The defense pairings remain unchanged from the last two games:
Matt Murray has been confirmed to start in net for the Penguins. Casey DeSmith started the past two games and was 0-1-1 but should largely be credited with stealing a point when he stopped 30 of 42 shots against Florida, Thursday night.
It should be noted the Penguins twitter originally had Bjugstad on the left wing, but with other reporters corrected the alignment.
More from the Penguins locker room shortly.