No Malkin for Penguins on Saturday


The already-shorthanded Pittsburgh Penguins will reportedly be without Evgeni Malkin on Saturday, but it’s difficult to tell if he’s injured or just getting the night off.

If you read enough into a bit from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe, you might think Malkin should be listed as “day-to-day (sun burn).”

Note: the team lists his injury as an upper-body issue, however. Yohe speculates that if his issues are beyond the aid of aloe, they could be shoulder-related.

The 26-year-old center has been through some serious ups and downs with injuries this season, so it seems like both scenarios are plausible enough.

NFL teams are known to rest key players late in the season when they have a playoff position locked up, and that’s during just a 16-game season where there are few “filler” contests. Even in this condensed campaign, it makes sense that the Penguins are opting to keep Malkin fresh; they do already have the Atlantic Division locked up, after all.

That being said, they might want to get him some better sunscreen with summer rapidly approaching.

(At least the Penguins’ remaining regular season schedule is devoid of UV ray hazard areas such as Arizona, Florida, Texas and California … )

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: