PITTSBURGH | Just because the Penguins have shined without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin doesn’t mean they won’t be welcomed back to the lineup with fervor when ready to play.
And while Crosby needs more time after just being cleared to take full contact in practice, Malkin was back in the Pittsburgh lineup Thursday night against the Capitals.
Malkin’s injury had been announced as only a “lower-body injury” but on Thursday he admitted it was his right knee that was bothering him – the same right knee in which he tore the ACL and MCL last winter, requiring surgery.
The Penguins star said after the second period of the game at the Calgary Flames on Saturday that he started to feel something wrong.
“I try skate, but I can’t push it. I don’t know why,” he said. “It just start a little bit sore and I not feel comfortable.”
Malkin admitted it was the scar tissue from the February surgery that was the problem.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said this could have been expected given the operation Malkin had.
“If you’re talking about a guy who’s had that type of surgery, high [chance of complications],” he said.
Malkin is expected to take the ceremonial faceoff Thursday night with Alex Ovechkin in honor of victims of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash Sept. 7.