The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t provide a lot of injury information in the first place, but a week before the playoffs there’s almost nothing being said.
Instead, seeing what happens at practice usually means more than the words said. But, in both cases, it’s looking very, very likely that Evgeni Malkin will return tomorrow night at home against the Detroit Red Wings.
#Pens workflow...— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) April 3, 2019
Malkin took “contact” (not that there’s much anyways) and participated in all the line rushes and with the top power play group. All very positive signs. Officially coach Mike Sullivan listed Geno as a “game time decision” — though at this point of the year just about everyone is. Malkin himself had a sunnier outlook after practice:
“Tomorrow if I feel fine,” the big center said “I will have good chance to play.”
Malkin knows getting back before playoffs would be a big benefit for him, since he hasn’t played in almost three weeks.
“I need to feel the game, with the puck. I hope [when] I wake up I feel great and I am ready to play.”
News on Kris Letang was a bit more mixed, when asked why he was back in the lineup for two games and then out again, Letang delivered an unsettling answer.
“I didn’t feel comfortable after (returning),” the defenseman said about his three game return to the lineup that ended up March 23rd. “Taking some time to feel better [now]”.
Letang on today: “Contact not really a step. When I’m ready I’ll be ready. I’ll go when I’m 100 percent.”— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) April 3, 2019
Asked if he’ll be ready for playoffs: “We’re going Day-by-day.”
The Pens practice again on Friday and all eyes will be cast towards Letang to see if he participates in practice in a normal jersey or not. Pittsburgh’s regular season finale is Saturday against the Rangers.
Defenseman Brian Dumoulin was also not on the ice today after missing last night’s game.