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Penguins' Malkin says he's ready to play in opener

NHL.com @NHL

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin declared himself ready to play in the season opener Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks at Consol Energy Center, and coach Mike Johnston said Malkin has a 99-percent chance of playing.

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"Malkin skated today and looked really good," Johnston said, according to the Penguins website. "If you looked at the drills in practice he looked really good for being off a month."

Malkin practiced Tuesday for the first time since training camp started because of an undisclosed injury sustained during his offseason workouts.

"I think I will play," Malkin said Wednesday, according to the Penguins website.

If Malkin is in the lineup, Johnston likely will play him at right wing with center Brandon Sutter and left wing Pascal Dupuis.

"I've played it before. I like playing right [wing]," Malkin said. "It's better for me. It's more of a chance to shoot the puck."

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