According to various reports, Pittsburgh Penguins star center Evgeni Malkin was back on the ice with his teammates for practice Tuesday in Edmonton, in a non-contact capacity again. Winger Dominik Simon, who apparently avoided an injury, also was at practice. Center Brian Boyle was not on the ice.
The Penguins traveled to Edmonton following Monday’s 2-1 shootout loss against the Flames in Calgary.
Boyle participated in the morning skate Monday but was scratched from the game against the Flames because of what coach Mike Sullivan said afterward was an upper-body injury. Boyle was listed as day-to-day. Sam Lafferty slotted into the lineup in Boyle’s stead. Drew O’Connor also is on the trip should the Penguins need another forward at some point.
Simon left in the third period Monday after being hit by the puck up high. Sullivan did not have an update postgame, but his participation in practice would seem to indicate he is OK.
Malkin, whose recovery from offseason knee surgery is going well by all accounts, joined his teammates on the ice for the first time Monday for the morning skate in Monday, in a non-contact capacity. Morning skates by their nature are not rife with contact and don’t last very long. Joining a regular, non-game-day practice, even in a non-contact capacity, means being even more involved.
While returning to practice has been described as a big step for Malkin, his return to the lineup is not imminent.
#Pens lines at practice:
5-2 w/52 rotating in
— Josh Getzoff (@PensJG) November 30, 2021
The Penguins are coming off a performance that left Sullivan looking miffed and offering short, terse descriptions of the loss. They are heading into what could be considered a marquee matchup Wednesday — a game against Conor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers as they continue their Western Canada swing.
Like the Penguins, Edmonton has been dealing with absences. Expected to be out Wednesday for the teams’ matchup are five regulars — Darnell Nurse (broken finger), Mike Smith (leg), Duncan Keith (upper body), Devin Shore (groin) and Slater Koekkoek (ankle).