Connect with us


Malkin Leaves Penguins Game in Pain, but Prognosis is Promising



Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

SUNRISE, Fla. — Evgeni Malkin has scored 454 goals for the Pittsburgh Penguins since he entered the NHL in 2006.

It’s safe to assume that none of them have been as painful as the one he got during the Penguins’ 4-2 victory against Florida Thursday night at FLA Live Arena.

The Penguins were ahead, 2-1, and on a power play as the middle of the third period approached, when Malkin positioned himself near the Panthers’ net.

Sidney Crosby hammered a slap shot from the top of the left circle that appeared to be going wide of the net … until it struck Malkin in an unprotected area, just above his right shinguard.

The puck went into the Florida net — “It’s a funny way to score, but a goal is a goal,” Mike Sullivan said — and Malkin dropped to the ice in obvious pain. He eventually was helped off the ice and to the locker room, and did not return to the game.

And while Malkin’s right leg was heavily wrapped after the game, Sullivan said, that “the preliminary prognosis is positive, so that’s a positive sign.”

Malkin’s teammates were predictably sympathetic — it’s reasonable to assume that they’ve all been struck in an unprotected area a few times since they took up the game — but also slightly amused by what they witnessed, which is another indication that he wasn’t badly injured.

“It got him in the right spot,” Crosby said. “He looked like he was in a lot of pain. I’ve done it a couple of times over the years, but you don’t like doing that. … I think it got him pretty good, but hopefully, I don’t think it’s going to keep him out. If you are going to get hit, get a goal out of it.”

Kris Letang, who was on the ice when Malkin was injured, agreed that being hit by pucks the way Malkin was is an occupational hazard.

“It happens,” Letang said. “It sucks. You get hit there, and it’s like your leg goes dead. You can’t really stand on it. It’s a tough spot. But he’ll be OK. He’s tough.”