Malkin hurt in collision with LeClair in NHL debut

MONCTON, New Brunswick -- Evgeni Malkin was injured during
his first NHL preseason game Wednesday night when he collided with
Pittsburgh teammate John LeClair early in the second period of the
Penguins' 5-4 win over Philadelphia.

The team said the Russian rookie center was taken to a hospital
for further evaluation. Penguins veteran winger Mark Recchi also
was sent to hospital after he was hit with a high stick in the
first period.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero said Malkin will be
re-evaluated Thursday in Pittsburgh, but could not be more specific
about the injury.

"At this point anything else would be speculation," Shero
said. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow. Frankly, I was happy he
got up considering the way he went down."

Malkin had just finished making a dazzling pass to LeClair when
the veteran winger, after missing a great scoring chance, crashed
into the boards behind the net and took out Malkin in the process.
The Russian catapulted over LeClair and landed hard on the ice. A
hush came over the crowd at Moncton Coliseum as Malkin, the No. 2
overall pick behind Alexander Ovechkin in 2004, lay sprawled on the
ice for three to four minutes.

Malkin got up and skated off the ice but was favoring his left
arm. He headed straight to the dressing room. There was no
immediate word on his condition.

Malkin had an assist on Sergei Gonchar's first-period goal and
also displayed a pair of sensational inside-out moves later in the
opening period.

The 20-year-old Malkin was making his much-anticipated debut
after his controversial departure from Russia, a matter that
remains in the hands of lawyers on both sides of the ocean because
he signed a contract with Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk
before also signing a three-year deal with the Penguins.

Gonchar finished with two goals and Sidney Crosby, Ryan Malone
and Colby Armstrong also scored for Pittsburgh, 1-1 in preseason
play. Mike Richards scored twice and Jeff Carter and Mark Cullen
added goals for Philadelphia in the Flyers' preseason opener.

Jocelyn Thibault went all the way in goal for the Penguins,
making 23 saves.

Robert Esche went two periods in goal for the Flyers, giving up
three goals on 22 shots. Rookie Martin Houle then allowed two goals
on nine shots.