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Malkin out for Pittsburgh with upper-body injury; Vancouver without Dorsett because of neck, back stiffness

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

CANUCKS (10-8-3) at PENGUINS (11-8-3)



The Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without forward Evgeni Malkin when they host the Vancouver Canucks at PPG Paints Arena on Wednesday.

Malkin, second on Pittsburgh in scoring with 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists), sustained an upper-body injury in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. He will be re-evaluated Thursday before it's determined if he can play at the Boston Bruins on Friday or against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, coach Mike Sullivan said.

The Penguins are 4-5-2 in their past 11 games after beginning the season 7-3-1.

Canucks forward Derek Dorsett will not play; he returned to Vancouver on Tuesday for precautionary medical reasons stemming from neck and back stiffness. Dorsett missed 68 games last season after undergoing cervical fusion surgery on Dec. 5, 2016. Vancouver is 2-3-1 in its past six games but is coming off a 5-2 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.


Players to watch

Canucks forward Brock Boeser scored two goals on Tuesday and has five points (four goals, one assist) in a four-game point streak. He had four points (three goals, one assist) in a 4-2 win against the Penguins on Nov. 4.

Penguins forward Phil Kessel has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past seven games.


They said it

"It's tough to see that as a guy you watch play so hard for his whole career and come back from an injury like that, but we wish him the best and hope he comes back as soon as possible. But we need guys to step up and there's a role there, and I'm willing to do it." -- Canucks forward Brendan Gaunce on replacing Dorsett

"I think we have to have better production throughout our lineup. … I think it's important that we become a team that's hard to play against." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan


Canucks projected lineup

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Brock Boeser

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Jake Virtanen

Loui Eriksson -- Markus Granlund -- Thomas Vanek

Brendan Gaunce -- Brandon Sutter -- Sam Gagner

Alexander Edler -- Derrick Pouliot

Michael Del Zotto -- Alex Biega

Ben Hutton -- Erik Gudbranson

Anders Nilsson

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Philip Holm, Alexander Burmistrov

Injured: Derek Dorsett (neck), Troy Stecher (knee), Christopher Tanev (thumb)


Penguins projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Sidney Crosby -- Patric Hornqvist

Bryan Rust -- Jake Guentzel -- Phil Kessel

Carl Hagelin -- Riley Sheahan -- Josh Archibald

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Greg McKegg -- Ryan Reaves

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Justin Schultz

Matt Hunwick -- Ian Cole

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Chad Ruhwedel

Injured: Evgeni Malkin (upper body), Carter Rowney (hand)


Status report

Stecher is expected to return sometime during Vancouver's six-game road trip. … Rowney will be a game-time decision after missing the past 13 games with a fractured hand.


Stat pack

The Canucks are 6-3-1 against Eastern Conference teams this season, but are 1-4-0 in their past five games against the Penguins. … Pittsburgh has won four straight games played the day before Thanksgiving, with three of the four victories coming in overtime or a shootout.

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