Just a day after the possibility of him returning before the end of the first round was discussed, it now looks like Evgeni Malkin (upper body) might play in Game 2 on Saturday.
Malkin not only took part in Friday’s practice, but he skated on a line with Conor Sheary Bryan Rust and the top power-play unit during drills. Afterwards he described himself as a game-time decision, per NHL.com’s Wes Crosby.
If the Penguins forward does return on Saturday it will be just five weeks into his original six-to-eight week timetable. Of course, it’s worth emphasizing that nothing is set in stone, especially in the playoffs.
Either way, the fact that Malkin returning on Saturday even seems to be a possibility is a great sign for the Penguins. They already claimed an early lead in the series with a 5-2 victory on Wednesday. Getting Malkin back now would put further pressure on the New York Rangers.
Meanwhile, Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) took part in Friday’s practice as well and continues to make progress. He’s also a possibility to return on Saturday.