Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will be out of the lineup "a couple weeks" due to a strained right shoulder. According to coach Dan Bylsma, Malkin had been playing with the injury for some time and is being taken out of the lineup as a precautionary measure.
Malkin is second on the team in scoring this seson with 14 points (four goals, 10 assists). He does currently have the longest consecutive games streak on the team with 254 games, having not missed a contest since sitting out the first four games of his rookie yelear due to a left shoulder injury. Jordan Staal has the second longest streak at 232 games.
No word yet on any potential call-ups from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
EN Says: This team has found away to fight on despite losing Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Sergei Gonchar and countless others for extended periods of time. Now, it will be without arguably its most valuable player.
A lot has been made of how this team has been almost machine-like this season in that it has gotten contributions from just about everyone in the lineup. And how a lot of the parts are interchangeable. Well this is the biggest gear in that machine. And it's hardly irreplaceable.
We're not calling for gloom and doom for this team, but don't expect too many easy wins for time being while Gonchar and Malkin are each on the mend. Those are two very important players on the sidelines.
We're not sure what Bylsma has in mind in regards to line combinations, but we have to imagine Jordan Staal gets bumped up to the second line in place of Malkin. There's constant talk about how he's a No. 2 or even No. 1 center on just about every other team in the league. Well, he's a No. 2 center as of today.
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