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Pens Points: Geno Back

Penguins get Malkin back against Ducks but lose more players to COVID. All that and much more in Pens Points.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images

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It was a long wait but Evgeni Malkin made his season debut on Tuesday evening against the Anaheim Ducks. Malkin missed 34 games recovering from offseason knee surgery and his return pushes the Penguins closer to full health. [Penguins]

Perhaps no one is looking forward to Malkin’s return than expected line mate Kasperi Kapanen. While much has been written about Kapanen’s struggles this season, getting his center back will hopefully be what elevates his game. [Trib Live]

Malkin’s return should have forced the Penguins into some lineup shuffling to make room but COVID took care of that for Mike Sullivan. Danton Heinen and Zach Aston-Reese were added to league protocols on Tuesday and will be out. [Pensburgh]

The Penguins may be closing in on a rebuild but they aren’t there quite yet. Speaking to NHL Network Radio, team president Brian Burke said he and Ron Hextall see the Penguins as contenders who can win the Stanley Cup this season. [Pensburgh]

Despite the setback on Saturday in Dallas, the Penguins have still won 10 of 11 games and rocketed up the standings. While winning streaks can sometimes be an illusion, the Penguins will have an opportunity to prove they are good as advertised. [Sportsnet]

Someone gave Bobby Clarke a microphone and he went off on former Philadelphia Flyers GM turned Penguins GM Ron Hextall. His notable complaints were about Hextall drafting highly rated prospect Nolan Patrick. [The Hockey News]

News and notes from around the NHL...

For the first time since the blockbuster trade back in November, Jack Eichel skated as a member of the Vegas Golden Knights. There is still no timeline for his return to game action, but this has to be a promising development in Las Vegas. [NHL]

A short stint in Providence has landed Tuukka Rask back in the NHL with the Boston Bruins. Rask and the Bruins agreed to a one-year deal on Tuesday and the veteran netminder will serve as the backup when they take on the Canadiens on Wednesday. [Sportsnet]