Pens Get “Great” News with Evgeni Malkin

Injured forward skated with team Thursday morning

Jeff Hathhorn
April 26, 2018 - 1:23 pm
Evgeni Malkin

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY

WASHINGTON D.C. (93.7 the Fan) - Pens center Evgeni Malkin skated before the team took the ice Thursday in Washington and then joined his team during a non-contact, optional, day-of-game practice.

“I think it’s great,” said head coach Mike Sullivan.  “It’s great for our team.  It’s great for Geno obviously that he’s on the ice and that he’s skating.  It means he’s that much closer and obviously our players are aware of that.”

“It’s always nice to see a guy like him out there,” said forward Bryan Rust.  “He’s a guy who’s obviously really important to our team.  He brings so much and to see him out there and being closer is nice.”

“He’s an incredible player,” said Tom Kuhnhackl.  “He’s one of the best players in the league.  Every time you can be on the ice with him there is so much you can take away from him and a lot of things you can learn from him.”

Malkin suffered a lower-body injury during game five against Philadelphia and the Pens went on to score eight times in the clincher of the series.  It’s not that they expect another game like that on Thursday, but Sullivan said he expects the others to step up.

“He’s a big part of this team,” Sullivan said.  “He’s a difference maker.  It’s not an easy guy to replace, but as we’ve said all along we have a next man up attitude.  It’s going to provide opportunity for other guys to step up and help us win.”

“His presence is obviously important for our team,” said forward Derick Brassard who said not just him or any one person can make up for Malkin.  “He’s one of the leaders.  One of the best players (in the NHL), it’s nice to see him on the ice this morning.  We will see what happens over the next couple of days and if he’s ready to go for game two.  We are going to obviously be really happy (if he can return Sunday).”