Evgeni Malkin skates but still ‘week to week’ with injury

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Pittsburgh Penguins star forward Evgeni Malkin has been out of action since he sustained a lower-body injury versus the Boston Bruins on March 16 that landed him on the injured reserve list.

Per Wes Crosby of the league’s official website, Malkin skated on his own Wednesday for the first time since the injury but is still considered week to week. Malkin didn’t travel with the Penguins for their current road trip that resumes with Thursday’s matchup at the New York Rangers. Pittsburgh’s next home game is April 15 versus the Philadelphia Flyers.

“It’s huge. It’s a big step,” Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said of Malkin’s return to the ice. “Knowing how important he is to this team and just the amount of guys that we’ve seen go out here lately, it’s always great when you hear that guys are progressing. It’s the same with [Malkin].

“So it’s a big step, and we’ve been battling pretty hard here with guys out of the lineup. We have to continue to do that.” 

Pittsburgh begins Wednesday’s slate of games third in the NHL East standings with 50 points, four points behind both the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders and four points ahead of the Boston Bruins. The top four clubs from each division earn playoff berths.