Evgeni Malkin

Evgeni Malkin returns to Penguins lineup tonight

The Penguins are winners of 12 straight games and are on so much fire they should have a sign dictating how flammable they are. They’re scoring tons of goals thanks to Sidney Crosby’s current 18 game point streak and Marc-Andre Fleury has been lights out in goal. So what does a team that’s got it all working for it need? Of course they need to get their next best player back and healthy in the lineup.

Evgeni Malkin will make his return to the Penguins lineup tonight against the Flyers and give the Pens offense just that much more volatility. Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Gazette gets the scoop in a funny way directly from Malkin after the team’s skate this morning.

He confirmed after the skate that he intends to play, and did so at first in a rather novel way: By declining to answer a reporter’s questions.

Malkin, you see, has a habit of not doing interviews on gamedays, at least ones when he plans to play.

“That’s why I’m not talking,” he finally said. “Because I’m going to play.”

Before Malkin took time off to get healthy, it appeared that his game was suffering, what he’s able to do tonight against the Flyers and from here on out may dictate if that indeed was the case or if there’s something else amiss with the Russian superstar.

For now though, the Penguins look to be even more formidable having Malkin back in the lineup and even scarier still if he ends up on Crosby’s left wing. Chances of that are slim though as long as Chris Kunitz is able to start.

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin
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The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.


Detroit places Datsyuk and three others on I.R.

Pavel Datsyuk,
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The Red Wings have placed Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko on injured reserve.

Placing these players on I.R. opens up four more roster spots for Detroit.

The Red Wings have suffered an incredibe amount of injuries heading into the season.

Datsyuk (ankle) is expected to be out until November.

DeKeyser (foot) is going to miss three-to-four weeks, while Helm (concussion) and Marchenko (lower-body) are considered day-to-day.

The team also announced that they have reduced their training camp roster to 27 players on Sunday.

Top prospect Dylan Larkin remains in camp for now.

Coach Jeff Blashill told reporters that the 19-year-old has looked good, but a final decision hasn’t been made on where he will play this year.

As for Larkin, he’s just fed up of living in a hotel.

“There’s been so much speculation and so many questions, and no one really knows,” said Larkin. “Maybe the coaches know, but just to find out where I’ll be living or what’s happening — I’m kind of sick of the hotel. It would be nice to know what’s going on.”