Updated: 4:50 p.m. – The Penguins have officially ruled Malkin out for tonight’s game. The Penguins center will miss his second game this season. Eric Godard will take his place in the lineup.
4:34 p.m. – After participating fully in the morning skate, Evgeni Malkin’s playing status for tonight has now been downgraded and the coaching staff may hold him out for tonight’s road game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Malkin skated on the second line in the morning skate and was considered “likely” to play tonight.
Malkin re aggravated his knee injury against the Atlanta Thrashers Thursday night but the injury is regarded as just a nagging “bruise”. There is no structural damage to the knee. Malkin has 22 points in 25 games this season. He previously missed the Penguins October 30th game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
If Malkin is held out, Arron Asham will move up to the 2nd line and Max Talbot will move over to the center position. Matt Cooke, Talbot and Asham skated together as a unit in Friday’s practice before Talbot left the ice.
*The Penguins will be looking to extend their winning streak to 9 games and Sidney Crosby can extend his points streak to 15 games tonight. Crosby has 15 goals and 14 assists during his current 14 game points streak.
In 2007, Crosby had 11 goals and 19 assists during his career-high…..
19 games points streak (10/6/07 – 11/15/07). The Penguins top line of Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis will see a lot of Blue Jackets defensemen Methot and Rostislav Klesla who will get the primary matchup against Pittsburgh. Methot is returning to the lineup for the first time in four games.