The Pittsburgh Penguins earned a 5-4 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, but they lost Evgeni Malkin in the process.
The Penguins announced that Malkin, who has already missed time this season with a concussion, sustained an upper-body injury on Saturday. The silver lining is that it’s not a head injury.
Malkin was hurt when he absorbed a hit from Toronto forward James van Riemsdyk and was pulled out of the game for precautionary reasons, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.
Prior to the injury, Malkin registered an assist, giving him 24 points in 21 games.
Even if the injury is minor, the timing of it is inopportune. Following Saturday’s contest, Pittsburgh will play another five games in just eight days. That stretch includes two games against the soaring Boston Bruins and a match versus the New York Rangers.
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.