Updates from Wednesday, April 16
NHL.com's Wes Crosby reports that Malkin is back in the Penguins lineup for Game 1 vs. Columbus:
OFFICIAL: Evgeni Malkin will return tonight. #Pens— Wes Crosby (@OtherNHLCrosby) April 16, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, April 15
The Penguins' official Twitter feed reported good news on Malkin's status:
Penguins.com reports what Maklin was doing in practice:
Malkin is working the point on the #Pens' first power-play unit with Letang. Crosby, Neal and Kunitz out there with them -MC— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) April 15, 2014
Following practice, Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Shelley Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had more on Malkin:
Malkin: "I feel great. I think I will play."— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) April 15, 2014
Bylsma: Vokoun re-evaluated medically, will be third goalie not often in practice; Malkin, Vitale will be further evaluated. #Penguins— Shelly Anderson (@pgshelly) April 15, 2014
Updates from Friday, April 4
TribLIVE Radio's Ken Laird has an update on Malkin's status:
Rossi says the #Pens have told Malkin to stay away from the team, rest up and let his hairline fracture heal. Thinks he'll be back for plyfs— Ken Laird (@Ken_Laird) April 4, 2014
The Pittsburgh Penguins could be forced to play the rest of the regular season without superstar forward Evgeni Malkin due to a foot injury suffered on Sunday.
Malkin is expected to miss two-to-three weeks as a result of the ailment, according to comments passed along by the team from head coach Dan Bylsma:
Per Coach Bylsma: #Pens Evgeni Malkin has a foot injury and will be out 2-3 weeks.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 25, 2014
He also noted the injury occurred early in the team's loss to the St. Louis Blues over the weekend:
Coach Bylsma: Malkin got hurt playing St. Louis near the net on his first shift. #Pens— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 25, 2014
Malkin, who along with Sidney Crosby creates the NHL's most dangerous one-two offensive punch, has scored 72 points in 60 games this season. That strong play has helped the Penguins claim the top spot in the Metropolitan division as they aim for another Stanley Cup title.
Should Malkin return before the playoffs?
Based on the timetable provided by Bylsma, there's a chance the Russian star could return for the final three games of the regular season. The back end of the estimate would see him miss all of the team's remaining contests before the playoffs.
Even though there are 11 games left, Pittsburgh is on a bit of an island. It would take a tremendous finish to chase down Boston for the Eastern Conference's best record, and there are no teams close behind. Knowing that, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see the Penguins play it safe.
As long as Malkin is healthy for the playoff run, the Pens are a major championship threat.