The Pittsburgh Penguins were getting healthy before Tuesday. That is now past tense after at least a couple of Penguins appear headed for the injured list.
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was checked solidly by Boston Bruins defenseman Jared Tinordi. Malkin went down. He was able to finish the shift but was doubled over in pain on the bench. Malkin left the bench to go to the dressing room. Despite returning a few minutes later for one shift, Malkin left the game permanently.
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said Evgeni Malkin is being evaluated for a lower-body injury. He didn’t have a status update immediately following the game.
“We’ll have more information for you when we have more information ourselves,” Sullivan said.
The Penguins have an off day on Wednesday, so the earliest update will likely be Thursday.
The Tinordi hit on Malkin set off a chippy game. Later in the second period, Penguins winger Brandon Tanev raced across the ice and checked Tinordi at center ice. Tinordi violently flew into the boards and had to be helped off the ice.
Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy said it was unlikely Tinordi would be available for Boston’s next game on Thursday.
On Tuesday night, Teddy Blueger was a surprise scratch. And the news got worse after the game.
“Teddy Blueger’s is longer term with an upper-body injury,” Sullivan said. “And he’s out longer term.”
Longer-term is a new phrase the Pittsburgh Penguins began using this season. It could mean a few weeks, as defenseman Mike Matheson was out “longer-term” but returned in three weeks. Winger Jason Zucker is also out “longer-term,” and it appears his lower-body injury could be months.
The silver lining is Penguins defenseman John Marino seems to be close to returning. Marino participated in the morning skate on Tuesday and was a game-time decision. He was placed on IR retroactive to March 7, and Sullivan downplayed that as a paper move.
“He skated today, he will skate again tomorrow,” Sullivan said. “But his status is day-to-day.”