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Eastern Conference

Pens’ Evgeni Malkin Out With Upper-Body Injury

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.”

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