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Insider Only Off-Day Buzz: Line Combinations for Malkin’s pending return being kicked around

tiops-smallPenguins – Rangers Off Day Buzz

Will Game 2 see Marc Andre Fleury vs Henrik Lundqvist or will it be the battle of the backups again?

From the Rangers side, there is confidence of Lundqvist being fine and able to play, unless a visit to an eye specialist in Pittsburgh this afternoon gives Ranger doctors some news they don’t expect.

“He’s [Henrik Lundqvist] been checked by our doctors but at this time, we don’t feel that it’s anything too serious,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “There’s a little bit of swelling in and around the eye, so he’s going to see another specialist this afternoon.”

Vigneault said the call up of AHL goaltender Magnus Hellberg was just a precaution.

“It’s in case we get some bad news tomorrow,” Vigneault said. “At this time, we don’t feel that way, it’s just a matter of where the injury is and being on the safe and making sure everything’s all right.”

For the Penguins, they have not only jumped out to a 1-0 series behind their No. 3 goaltender, today was another day of positive developments on the injury front.

While just an optional practice, it was the first practice Evgeni Malkin has participated in since injured after being on the ice for individual workouts over the last week.

Malkin in the fifth week of what has now been deemed more of a five week injury than eight weeks following his latest checkup last week, expressed confidence of returning to the lineup at some point in the series but would not put a timeline on it.

The next step is Malkin participating in a full-team practice on Friday which he hopes to do. A positive sign for Malkin, he has shown increased velocity with his shot, notably his slap shot through the past couple sessions, according to observers.

On returning at some point during the series?

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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