Pittsburgh Penguins star center Evgeni Malkin missed the past two games with an upper-body injury. Over the weekend, Pittsburgh Hockey Now learned Malkin suffered a hand injury, Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It is believed the injury was caused or exacerbated when Malkin fought Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos during the Penguins 4-2 win.
The injured hand is not believed to be broken or similarly hurt. The developing nature of the situation was alluded to by head coach Mike Sullivan on Friday when he announced Malkin would not play Friday or Saturday.
“We’re hopeful this is a short term thing and he’ll be right back in our lineup,” Sullivan said.
Malkin is listed as day-to-day, which seemingly confirms the lack of severity portrayed by sources within the Penguins organization.
The information provided to Pittsburgh Hockey Now was initially provided off the record but after broadcast reports stated Malkin suffered a broken hand, we were permitted to use the information.
If the injury were suffered during the fight, Malkin would be the third Penguins player in the past six weeks to miss games immediately following a scrap. On Dec. 19, Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson concussed defenseman Jamie Oleksiak. Oleksiak missed two weeks and never regained his lineup position before being dealt to Dallas last week.
Zach Aston-Reese suffered a broken hand on Jan. 8 against the Florida Panthers by repeatedly punching the top of Colton Sceviour’s head. Aston-Reese has not yet returned to the lineup.
The Penguins practice today. More information could be available then. Tuesday, the Penguins host the Carolina Hurricanes. Thursday, the Penguins visit former teammate Derick Brassard and the Florida Panthers. Trade winds are still swirling around Brassard after Florida acquired him last Friday. Multiple national reports indicate he is likely to be traded again.