COLUMBUS, Ohio – Penguins center Evgeni Malkin practiced with the team for the second straight day Saturday afternoon in Columbus, but he has not been cleared yet for contact.
“Maybe next practice,” Malkin said of being cleared for contact. “Not today. I think I’m ready for contact next practice.”
Malkin, who has been out of the lineup after suffering a lower-body injury Dec. 14 at Detroit, is listed as day-to-day.
“I’m not rushing it,” Malkin said. “We’ll see after (Sunday’s) game.”
When the injury occurred the Penguins were on a power play in Detroit. A turnover forced Malkin, 27, to retreat on a backcheck. He lost an edge and crashed into the endboards.
“I was just trying to get my stick on the puck,” Malkin said. “I was turning and crashed my back with my left leg stuck on the ice.”
Malkin has missed the team’s last six games.
“It’s tough not playing,” Malkin said. “It’s hard skating after practice every day, but it’s life. It’s sports. Everyone has injuries. It’s just working hard and staying positive.”
Defenseman Rob Scuderi is close to returning to the lineup from an ankle injury he suffered Oct. 26 in Toronto.
Head coach Dan Bylsma said he’s “working his way back to playing in the next two games before the New Year.” He added, “it’s possible” Scuderi could play Sunday against Columbus.
Scuderi said that he feels in good shape and ready to return, but it’s up to the coaches to make that decision.
All the Penguins healthy skaters were on the ice for the team’s Saturday afternoon practice. The team used the following workflow…