This is a case of good news and bad news. What would you prefer first, the good one or the bad? Let's start off fresh with the good news. After missing two games with an upper-body injury, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist was back on the ice with his teammates on Saturday morning. His team missed out of the opportunity to close out their first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers, who won 4-2 last night Game 5, and now the veteran forward is thinking about joining them in Philly for the sixth contest of the series.
The 31-year-old had one goal and two assists through the first three games of the series, and he had 29 goals and 20 assists in 70 regular-season games in 2017-18. Dominik Simon took Hornqvist’s spot on the Penguins’ top in Game 4 and came through with an assist on Sidney Crosby’s recording-breaking goal.
It's surely reassuring for Pens fans to know that Hornqvist could be in the lineup Sunday for Game 6... Especially with the concerning news coming out of the same practice on Saturday - this is your cue to get ready for the bad news.
Star forward Evgeni Malkin was not on the ice for the morning skate. The Russian forward was the only member of the Penguins that was absent for practice ahead of the sixth game of the series.
Pens fans were concerned for most of the game last night when Malkin returned to the game for the start of the second period after he'd spent the final three minutes and 34 seconds of the first period following a collision with Flyers forward Jori Lehtera. Malkin laid on the ice for several moments after he'd lost his balance got tangled up with Lehtera and Lehtera fell awkwardly onto Malkin's left leg in the right-wing corner of the Penguins' defensive zone.
Despite the time missed due to the pain on his leg, Mallkin ended up with 20 minutes, 22 seconds of ice time, his second-most of the series so far. He took 14 shifts after the collision, but it might costing him right now...
Malkin could also be taking the day to make sure he is fully healthy ahead of tomorrow's pivotal contest.