Despite rumors to the contrary, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan announced that center Evgeni Malkin will not play this afternoon in Game 2 against the Washington Capitals, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey. Sullivan said if Malkin was going to be in for Game 2, it wouldn’t be in a limited role, according to Associated Press’ Stephen Whyno. It’s possible Malkin will be ready for Game 3.
Malkin, who has missed two games due to a lower-body injury, was listed as probable yesterday after successfully getting through a full practice. However, Sullivan remarked that Malkin did not suffer a setback. It is just part of the recovery process, according to The Athletic’s Seth Rorabaugh.
One reason not to rush the star veteran back is the team has fared well in his absence. They won Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers without him and made a big third-period comeback against the Washington Capitals in Game 1 Thursday to win on the road. However, the team will be thrilled when they get him back. In five playoff games, he has put up three goals and two assists.