Adams, Malkin get into sparring match during practice

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Things apparently got heated during the Pittsburgh Penguins’ practice Friday morning. Penguins coach Mike Johnston confirmed that Craig Adams and Evgeni Malkin took swings at each other during a battle drill, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe.

Johnston didn’t seem particularly concerned about the incident, but it is still unusual to say the least. Especially seeing as the fight involved Malkin, who has never gotten into a sparring match during a regular season NHL game, according to hockeyfights.com.

Pittsburgh earned a 2-1 win against the lowly Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday, but lost its previous four contests. The Penguins are now in danger of conceding the Metropolitan Division lead to the New York Islanders. That might happen tonight as the Islanders are scheduled to play against Calgary while Pittsburgh has to take on the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Penguins will get some extra help though as the team announced that Steve Downie is ready to return from the mumps.