PITTSBURGH -- Evgeni Malkin will miss the Pittsburgh Penguins' game Thursday against the San Jose Sharks at Consol Energy Center with a lower-body injury.
Malkin left midway through Pittsburgh's morning skate and is listed as day-to-day. He is one point behind Sidney Crosby in the NHL scoring race with 37 points and on a season-high nine-game point streak (four goals, 15 assists).
"[Malkin's] month of November, at least from the media's aspect, was maybe the least spectacular month of anyone's career," Bylsma said. "There was a lot of heat, pressure and question marks for the first 20 games of that month.
"He quietly put up multi-point games and assist games during that month and played maybe his best games against Anaheim, where he didn't get a point. He certainly caught fire near the end of the month."
Sharks coach Todd McLellan laughed when asked if he would want Malkin in the Penguins' lineup to measure his club against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
"No. How's that?" McLellan said.
While Malkin will miss his first game of the season, Crosby will play in his 500th career game. He said he wasn't aware of the milestone and that he hasn’t been fully satisfied with his first 499 games.
“Looking back I probably think about how many I've missed more than playing 500," Crosby said. "But it's been great. It's gone by quick, that's for sure. But to get to 500 is definitely a nice number."
Crosby has scored 703 points (253 goals, 450 assists) in 499 games, including 38 points in 29 games this season. Pascal Dupuis, who primarily has played on Crosby’s right wing the last few seasons, said he expects the Penguins' captain to continue his success through his next 500 games.
"He's still young. There's a lot in front of him," Dupuis said. "When you're that young and you hit 500, it's only a number. I think he got his 700th point a couple games ago, so it shows how good and how efficient he's been in this League, and let's see what the next 500 is going to bring."
Sharks forward Tyler Kennedy, who played his first six seasons in Pittsburgh before he was traded to San Jose during the 2013 NHL Draft, said he is impressed with the way Crosby has carried himself off of the ice more than anything.
"I think you don't realize it when you're here but you do when you leave," Kennedy said. "You realize he's a world-class individual. Not even on the ice, but as a person too. He's very respectful and he's just a good human being. I have nothing, but good things to say about him.
"On the ice his game speaks for itself, and off the ice, if you know him, you know he's one of the best guys around."
Here are the expected lineups for the Penguins and Sharks:
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Jussi Jokinen - Brandon Sutter - James Neal
Chris Conner - Andrew Ebbett - Zach Sill
Craig Adams - Joe Vitale - Robert Bortuzzo
Deryk Engelland - Brooks Orpik
Olli Maatta - Kris Letang
Matt Niskanen - Simon Despres
Scratched: Jayson Megna
Injured: Evgeni Malkin (lower body), Beau Bennett (wrist), Tanner Glass (hand), Paul Martin (leg), Chuck Kobasew (lower body), Rob Scuderi (ankle), Tomas Vokoun (pelvis)
Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels
Martin Havlat - Joe Pavelski - Tyler Kennedy
James Sheppard - Andrew Desjardins - Mike Brown
Justin Braun - Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Brad Stuart - Dan Boyle
Jason Demers - Scott Hannan
Scratched: John McCarthy, Matt Pelech, Matt Irwin
Injured: Adam Burish (back), Raffi Torres (knee)