The injury news Wednesday for the Pittsburgh Penguins was a bit muddled, but there was one bit of encouraging news: Center Evgeni Malkin has resumed skating, according to coach Mike Sullivan.
As for John Marino, Sullivan offered only that the defenseman, who left Tuesday’s game at New York in the third period, did not practice with the team Wednesday because of a “maintenance day.”
The Penguins practiced at Madison Square Garden.
Malkin, who has missed the past 10 games, was initially described as being out week to week because of a lower-body injury. He has eight goals, 24 points in 29 games.
Sullivan said Malkin “is making progress with his rehab.”
“It’s huge,” fellow Penguins star center Sidney Crosby said of Malkin being back on the ice. “It’s a big step, knowing how important he is to this team and just the amount of guys that we’ve seen go out (because of injury) here lately. It’s always great when you hear that guys are progressing.”
When he got hurt, Malkin had been playing at a level commensurate with his star status after a slow start to the season.
With third-line center Teddy Blueger, who has been out the past 11 games, seemingly on the verge of returning from injury, the Penguins’ center situation could be on the upswing.
Sullivan noted that Blueger again on Wednesday “skated again in a full capacity, full contact. … He has not been cleared yet to play, but certainly his participation in a full capacity is encouraging.”
Marino left Tuesday’s game against the Rangers in New York during the third period. He appeared to fall face-first to the ice.
Marino has two goals, seven points in 35 games. He has lately been playing on the third defensive pairing with Marcus Pettersson.
Skipping practice as a maintenance day can mean different things, the most encouraging of which could be that Marino just needed a day off the ice as a precaution or to give him time to get past something minor. So it is possible Marino escaped any injury that would force him to miss any games.
In offering updates on other injured players, Sullivan said Brandon Tanev is in Pittsburgh and did not skate Wednesday, and Kasperi Kapanen has not resumed skating.