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Eastern Conference

Pens’ Evgeni Malkin Out With Upper-Body Injury

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without center Evgeni Malkin who will not be available for Pittsburgh’s game against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday due to an upper-body injury.

Malkin didn’t skate Tuesday after suffering the injury during Pittsburgh’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Pens head coach Mike Sullivan said that Malkin will be reevaluated on Thursday to determine his status for the Pens’ upcoming games against the Boston Bruins on Friday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Pittsburgh forward Jake Guentzel moved from second-line left wing to center on the same line to compensate for Malkin’s absence.

“I don’t mind it,” Sullivan said when asked about keeping Guentzel at center. “He’s a cerebral player. I think he has a good, solid two-way game. He’s played center. He played a lot of center in college. So, it’s not something he’s unfamiliar with. He’s a good player. If we do choose to use him there, I think he can make that adjustment fine.”

“It all depends on who’s available for us,” Sullivan said. “We don’t know if Carter Rowney is going to play or if he’s not going to play. So, we’ll have to make some decisions.”

“Obviously, full contact is the last step before [Rowney] gets clearance,” Sullivan said. “We’ll see how he responds to this today. I’ll talk to the medical staff and then we’ll make decisions accordingly. But certainly, it’s encouraging the progress that he’s made.”

Eastern Conference

Penguins Keeping Faith in Matt Murray

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The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to support goalie Matt Murray despite his struggles this season, leading the team to temporarily usurp him for Casey DeSmith.

Despite the downward fall, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan believes that the time off the ice will help him focus on work with goaltending coach Mike Buckley, and the team is maintaining both their faith and their confidence that Murray can return to form.

“I think Matt’s mental toughness and the experiences that he’s gone through, he can certainly draw on and help him get to where we all know he’s capable of being,” Sullivan said (h/t NHL.com). “Right now, he’s got an opportunity to spend some time with [Buckley] and work on some of the aspects of his game that we think can help him improve. He can build his confidence.

“This by no means diminishes our faith and our trust in Matt Murray. We know he’s a real good goalie. He’s an accomplished goalie.”

DeSmith understands his role, as backup.

“That’s my job. Just to show up when I get the chance,” DeSmith said. “I think so far, I’ve given the team a chance to win when I’ve played. I take pride in that.”

Murray is 4-4-1 with a 3.87 GAA, .886 save percentage and one shutout in nine starts for Pittsburgh this season.

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Eastern Conference

Devils Place Brian Boyle on IR

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The New Jersey Devils have placed center Brian Boyle on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, according to an official team announcement.

During Sunday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, Boyle was on the receiving end of a devastating hit from Dustin Byfuglien, which you can see below.

In a corresponding move, the Devils have recalled Pavel Zacha from the AHL.

 

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Boston Bruins

Bruins’ Tuukka Rask Rejoins Team, Jakub Zboril Recalled

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The Boston Bruins will see the return of netminder Tuukka Rask, who took a few days away from the team for a personal leave.

In corresponding moves, Dan Vlader is on his way back to the Providence Bruins while Jakub Zboril will be recalled. Additionally, the team officially announced that both Jeremy Lauzon and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson will stay on regular recall.

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