No Malkin for Penguins on Saturday

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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 … )