Evgeni Malkin wasn’t seen after the ever-rare simultaneous goal-injury combo for the Penguins on Thursday night against the Florida Panthers, but he has shrugged off the injury and was able to participate normally in practice on Saturday.
Mike Sullivan said Evgeni Malkin recovered well. “He’s a tough kid. We’re fortunate we dodged a bullet there.” https://t.co/M0fMWjvFNQ— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) December 17, 2022
Malkin took his regular spot on the second line as the Penguins prepped in Raleigh today for a game against the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow.
There’s no real secret about what happened, he took a slapshot from Sidney Crosby right above the knee in an area with no padding, and that’s going to leave a mark.
Evgeni Malkin's first thought after getting hit with the puck:— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) December 17, 2022
"It's pain," he said with a laugh.
As Crosby said after the game, “if you’re going to get hit, at least get a goal out of it,” while also admitting he shot the puck higher than he was hoping to.
Malkin still retained his trademark sense of humor on Saturday after practice where he joked he was lucky that the shot came off of Crosby’s stick and not someone that can shoot it harder.
All jokes aside - "but no, he say sorry," Malkin said. "It's a goal, I'm so happy. Because if I don't score, it feels so much worse." Him and Sid practice that play a lot, and it was just bad luck the puck caught Malkin the way it did.— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) December 17, 2022
It does always hurt a little less when it’s a goal, and it ended up being a very meaningful one too. For Malkin, that third period goal ended up standing as his 80th career game winner, one game after he recorded No. 79 against Dallas. That passed Jaromir Jagr for second place in Pens’ franchise history for most GWG’s. Crosby’s 83 is in the top spot in that category.
Malkin certainly paid the price to achieve that milestone, but luckily for the team there was no lasting damage done and they should have their star center available moving forward, likely with a nasty bruise for the next few days.