Evgeni Malkin

Malkin skates with Pens: ‘I feel good’


Evgeni Malkin joined his teammates for a skate this morning, a development that suggests the Penguins’ star forward is getting closer to returning from an upper-body injury.

“I feel good,” he said, per NHL.com. “Practice with team first time, feel very good. Just the next step to my recovery.”

But Malkin, who last played March 9, will not be in the lineup tonight against Washington when Pittsburgh attempts to win its 10th straight game.

Nor will defenseman Kris Letang, who’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury that he sustained Sunday.

“We’re going to have to keep it pretty simple,” Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said. “I don’t think you want to change too much, but obviously missing those two guys we want to simplify things, not force anything and play to the strengths of all the guys who are out there.”

The Penguins have been markedly better defensively the past five games without Malkin, surrendering just five combined goals.

Related: Laich back for Caps

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: