Blue Jackets’ Atkinson will replace injured Malkin at NHL All-Star Game

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Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson was one of the biggest All-Star snubs of the season, but it looks like he’ll be going to this weekend’s events after all (Watch Sunday, 3:30 pm ET on NBC and the NBC Sports app).

As beat writer Aaron Portzline first reported, Atkinson will replace injured Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin in Los Angeles.

The Blue Jackets forward is having a career-year in 2016-17. He’s managed to put up 24 goals and 22 assists in 47 games this season, which puts him on pace to shatter his previous career-high of 27 goals and 53 points (last year).

The addition of Atkinson will give Columbus four representatives at the All-Star game. Head coach John Tortorella, defenseman Seth Jones and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky were already selected for this weekend’s festivities.

Malkin is having a terrific season of his own, but he’ll sit out tonight’s game against the Bruins because of a lower-body injury.

The Pens forward has a bit of a lengthy injury history, so getting him a few days off at this point of the season should only benefit him and his team in the long run.

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