Evgeni Malkin did not skate for the 5th straight day and is expected to be held out of tomorrow night’s lineup, head coach Dan Bylsma indicated during his media session.
Bylsma said Malkin is “not likely” to play against the Islanders but that a decision has not been made on his All-Star weekend participation. It is believed Malkin prefers not to participate in the event.
One Pens source though fully expects Malkin to return to the lineup for the first game when the Penguins return to action after the break. The sense is Malkin could play through his injury is this were the playoffs and that the Penguins are taking the needed time to rest him at this point.
Holding Malkin out another game gives the Penguins and Malkin the incentive for him to miss the All-Star game as the league won’t be on their backs as much if he were to play against New York then decide to not participate.
Also on the injury front, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang did not practice today as both are ill. The Penguins expect both to play.
Eric Godard has been cleared to play and returned to practice today.