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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

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Targeting Saturday Return

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Frederik Andersen said that he is eyeing the team’s upcoming game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday to make his return to the ice.

Andersen was placed on injured reserve on January 3rd, retroactive to December 23rd, and hasn’t played since December 22nd.

Despite his goal of a Saturday return, Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is looking towards Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche as the best time for his return.

Babcock pours a little cold water on Andersen’s reveal, saying it might be Monday vs. Colorado. Hmmm…— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 9, 2019

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