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Injured Centers Malkin, Bjugstad Not Practicing With Penguins



Evgeni Malkin

Neither Evgeni Malkin nor Nick Bjugstad took the ice for Pittsburgh Penguins practice Monday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. There could be updates on the two injured centers after the practice.

Malkin was spotted before practice, not in gear but standing at the open door of the bench and reaching onto the ice to stickhandle for a few seconds, for whatever that is worth.

The Penguins play the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena, and the absence of Malkin and Bjugstad from practice doesn’t bode well for them being available.

The team was shorthanded in terms of forwards at the practice. There was no immediate word of any reinforcements being recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Malkin left Saturday’s win over Columbus about midway through the game. He appeared to trip over the skates of teammate Kris Letang at center ice, then slid into the boards and took a hit from a Blue Jackets player. He limped down the runway.

Bjugstad left in the third period of that game because of an undisclosed injury.

There was no update on either player postgame. Neither was there any news Sunday, when the Penguins had a day off.

The Penguins scrambled to adjust their forward lines that night.

Malkin’s spot centering the second line was taken over by Jared McCann, who scored twice.

McCann was back in that spot, between Alex Galchenyuk and Brandon Tanev, at practice, but the Penguins could run four lines. The top line remained Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Dominik Simon. The hybrid third/fourth line had Teddy Blueger centering Zach Aston-Reese and a rotation of Patric Hornqvist and Dominik Kahun.


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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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