Mar 22, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) reacts after his second goal of the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Evgeni Malkin Out 2-3 Weeks With Foot Ailment


The hits just keep on coming.

According to head coach Dan Bylsma and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Twitter handle, forward Evgeni Malkin will reportedly miss the next 2-3 weeks with a foot ailment he sustained in Sunday’s bout with St. Louis.

This season has just been an absolute nightmare for Pittsburgh.

As of Mar. 22, the Pens’ had lost 425 man-games – per – which is the largest amount in the NHL, and is 153 more than the next team (Winnipeg). Now, we can only expect that number to raise even higher.

It’s interesting that Bylsma stated Malkin hurt himself on his very first shift because he played the whole game thereafter. Already without defensemen Kris Letang and Paul Martin, and forwards Beau Bennett and Pascal Dupuis, the loss of Malkin – especially since the postseason is nearing – is terrible timing.

You also have to wonder how forward James Neal is going to perform, given the fact Malkin generates most of his scoring chances. Not only that, Neal’s responsibilities just skyrocketed in terms of stabilizing that second-line. Being to reliant on the top pairing isn’t going to work, so, it’s important Neal maintains his effectiveness.

Bylsma can either have forwards Marcel Goc or Brandon Sutter center the second-line, however, the fourth pairing will probably be working together minus a bonafide centerman. Nothing’s been confirmed, but it looks as though Bylsma’s calling upon Sutter, who slotted in Malkin’s vacancy this morning – per the Pens’ Twitter handle.

We’ll find out tonight if Pittsburgh fairs well without the star center.

The game against the Phoenix Coyotes can be seen on the ROOT Network, and is set to start at 7 p.m.

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