EDMONTON, Alberta – The Penguins practiced Tuesday afternoon at Rexall Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers, to begin their week-long western Canadian road trip.
Center Evgeni Malkin (lower body) took part in the practice, his second in a row with the team. Malkin could return to the lineup when the Penguins play the Oilers Wednesday night at 6 p.m. (8 p.m. Eastern time). He did line rushes and is “pretty close” to returning, according to head coach Mike Johnston.
“He looked good out there today,” Johnston said of Malkin, who has missed the last five games and was unable to participate in the All-Star Game because of the injury. “He’s had a couple practices in a row. He skated well for four, five days on his own, then skated with us prior to leaving. He had a lot of jump out there with the team.”
Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (concussion-like symptoms) was the only absent player from the practice. He was injured on Jan. 28 against Washington.
Forward Blake Comeau, who has missed the last 17 games with an upper-body injury, skated on his own after the team’s practice.
HOME COOKING Penguins strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar is a Red Deer, Alberta native, which is only an hour-and-a-half drive away from Edmonton.
So Kadar and his family – his father, mother and two sisters – treated the Pens players and staff to a home-cooked meal following their practice. Outside the visitors' locker room was a spread featuring sausages, stuffed cabbage, ham, and salad.
This is the second straight year the Kadars have treated the players and staff. The appreciative players took time to thank the family for the delicious meal.
WORKFLOW The Penguins used the following workflow at practice: