Three points for Evgeni Malkin continued the greatness of who has arguably been the most effective player in the NHL of late in the Penguins 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. But it came at a cost. Malkin left the game with a left leg injury that left him with the inability to put any weight on his left coming off of the ice.
Malkin got tangled up with a Red Wings player and crashed into the boards behind his own net. His leg got jammed against the boards. Reports say that he was walking without assistance after the game but it’s unknown how long he will be out. Prior to the injury, he racked up a goal and two assists and eclipsed the 600 point mark in his NHL career.
Sidney Crosby also scored twice and Olli Maatta scored in the win. All of the Penguins goals came after Detroit struck first on a Niklas Kronwall goal that deflected off of the stick of Crosby and past Jeff Zatkoff.
Zatkoff made 28 saves in the win while getting the start in his hometown of Detroit. Opposing goaltender Jonas Gustavsson didn’t have nearly as good of a night playing in place of injured starter Jimmy Howard. The win for Zatkoff moves him to 5-1 since taking a loss in his NHL debut.
Adding to the injury woes of the Penguins, Kris Letang didn’t play tonight with an upper body injury. He stated after the game that he has no idea what’s wrong so who knows how long he’ll be out. With three defensemen already out of the lineup, the Pens can hardly afford to lose anyone else but they might have anyway. Deryk Engelland received a match penalty after delivering a shoulder to Justin Abdelkader. Abdelkader didn’t return and Engelland is likely to receive supplemental discipline from the league.
The win keeps the Penguins ten points clear of the top of the Metropolitan Division. They’ll play their next game on Monday night against the other team that will be involved in this year’s Winter Classic, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Speaking of which, 24/7 made it’s return tonight on HBO. Awesome show. Watch it.