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Malkin left game in third period, did not return

Friday, 02.22.2013 / 10:32 PM / News

By Chris Adamski - NHL.com Correspondent

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Malkin left game in third period, did not return
Reigning Art Ross and Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin headed to the Pittsburgh Penguins locker room after crashing into the boards early in the third period

Evgeni Malkin
Center - PIT
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 16 | PTS: 20
SOG: 55 | +/-: -3

PITTSBURGH -- Penguins star Evgeni Malkin left Pittsburgh's 3-1 win against the Florida Panthers on Friday night after sliding into the boards early in the third period.

After twice pointing out that Malkin left the ice under his own power, the only update on Malkin's condition that Penguins coach Dan Bylsma would give after the game was that Malkin was "getting further evaluated this evening. We'll know more tomorrow."

Malkin was skating hard toward the net from the left-wing side when he got tangled up with Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson and slid backside-first into the boards behind the Florida net. Malkin's neck appeared to have been jerked violently as a result of the collision.

"Tough hit," linemate James Neal said. "It's a dangerous spot, the way he goes in. I hope he's OK.

"It [stinks], obviously, seeing Geno go down, but any time any player goes down you just need to adjust and grind out a win -- and we did that."

Malkin was on the ice for more than a minute and was attended to by a member of the Penguins training staff before skating off and walking down the runway toward the dressing room.

"I just finished my check," Gudbranson said. "He was in a vulnerable position, but you can't pass up a hit like that. It's unfortunate he got hurt, but it's one I'll take every time."

Malkin had an assist earlier in the game to give him 21 points in 18 games this season. He had 50 goals and 109 points in 75 games last season, earning his second NHL scoring title and winning the Hart Trophy as League MVP.

Malkin has not missed a game this season. He missed the final two months of the 2010-11 campaign when he sustained a torn ACL as the result of a hit delivered by Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers.

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres