After missing the five previous games with an upper-body injury, Evgeni Malkin is probable to play against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.
Malkin was injured on a hit by Tampa Bay’s Dan Girardi in a Jan. 30 game. The Penguins went 1-3-1 in his absence.
“He just helps in so many areas,” Sullivan said. “The power play’s just one aspect of it. He’s a dynamic offensive player. He’s a threat most times when he goes over the boards, whether it’s five-on-four or even strength. He just makes our team that much harder to play against. I think when he’s in our lineup, it creates matchup challenges for our opponents. He helps us in so many ways.”
Malkin skated with Phil Kessel on his left and Nick Bjugstad on his right during morning skate Monday. That’s a departure for Kessel, who typically plays the right side.