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Evgeni Malkin Injured, Unavailable Against the Devils
Malkin has been battling a lower-body injury for a little bit. Head coach Mike Sullivan released a statement saying that Malkin is “continuing to be evaluated” and more information will be available in the next day or two. In the meantime, the Penguins will be sorely missing Malkin. He’s third on the team in points with 24 in only 29 games – eight goals and 16 assists. Malkin also has the fourth-highest relative Corsi out of players with over 20 games played. His 2.5 relative and 51.8% Corsi for are just reinforcements of the positive impact he has on the ice.
Malkin is always a strong player to have on the ice. His large frame and incredible stick work allow him to control the puck as few other players can. His shot is deadly, and he can quickly turn a game around single-handedly. While the Penguins’ offence is stacked with talent, having Malkin out is a blow to their effectiveness. Second on the team in assists, Malkin is an expert at setting up his teammates to score easy goals.
For any team, losing their second-line center is a disaster. For the Penguins, it’s even worse. In the heated East Division, every point matters. The Penguins start their mini-series against the Devils tonight and conclude on Sunday. They face the Buffalo Sabres next, who is not the strongest of opponents. With the top four teams within eight points of each other, every win is crucial. With Evgeni Malkin injured, they will have to go deeper in their depth charts to get a win over East Division teams.
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