The Pittsburgh Penguins took to the ice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, PA for the second day in a row this morning, as they prepare for Game 1 of their second round Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup against the rival Washington Capitals tomorrow night.
Noticeably absent for the second consecutive day was superstar Evgeni Malkin. This according to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey:
No Evgeni Malkin or Carl Hagelin at practice. At least in terms of stuff we've seen, it's the fifth day in a row not skating for Malkin, the third straight for Hagelin.
That’s… that’s not good. Malkin sat out Sunday’s Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers and evidently hasn’t hit the ice since Game 5 of that series last Friday evening. Again… not good.
Officially Malkin, along with Hagelin, is listed as day to day with an unspecified injury. It’s worth noting however, that the Penguins typically disclose whether or not a player has a concussion, so it’s probable that we can cross that off the list of possible ailments. No official word on Malkin’s status for tomorrow’s Game 1 action, but expect Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan to be hounded with questions regarding his superstar centre in the hours between now and tomorrow’s 7pm puck drop.
Sullivan has confirmed that both Malkin and Hagelin both skated on their own this morning.
At the very least this has to be seen as an encouraging development. What it means for Malkin's status tomorrow night though is anyone's guess.
Malkin and Hagelin are officially OUT for Game 1 against the Capitals. Coach Sullivan confirmed this afternoon that both players will travel with the team to DC but WILL NOT play Game 1.
Malkin will join the team in Washington. Hagelin will not make the trip. Neither will play in Game 1, per Sullivan -SK
For what it's worth, here's how the team lined up for practice this morning:
Penguins lines/pairs:Guentze - Crosby - Hornqvist
Simon - Sheahan - KesselSheary - Brassard - Rust
Aston Reese - Rowney - Kuhnhackl
Dumoulin - LetangMaatta - Schultz
Oleksiak - RuhwedelHunwick - Gonchar (coach)
A potential sneak preview of tomorrow night's lineup? Time will tell.