Malkin has dislocated left shoulder, may miss opener
PITTSBURGH -- Evgeni Malkin dislocated his left shoulder during his first preseason game with the Pittsburgh Penguins, knocking him out of practice Thursday and raising questions about his availability for the Oct. 5 opener.
Malkin attended practice but did not take part, and teammates said he looked much better than he did after getting hurt Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers in an exhibition game in New Brunswick.
The Penguins did not say how long they expect the 20-year-old Russian star to be out or if he will be ready for their Oct. 5 opener.
Malkin, who had made several excellent passes earlier in the game, skated off the ice during the second period of a 5-4 victory over Philadelphia in Moncton after colliding with teammate John LeClair. Malkin was clutching his left arm in pain as he left the ice, but he did not have a sling on his arm after the game.
"The way he skated off holding his arm, it didn't look good at all," center Sidney Crosby said Thursday. "But just to see him up and around this morning, he was smiling and he didn't seem set back too much, so I think he feels a lot better."
"He looked all right," forward Colby Armstrong said. "I tried to talk to him, but it's tough to get anything out of him. Let's hope he's all right and this was a precaution more than anything."
Neither Crosby nor Malkin will play in a preseason home game against Washington on Friday night. Crosby played in the Penguins' first two exhibition games but will be held out of at least several preseason games so as not to risk injury.
Veteran forward Mark Recchi also won't play Friday because of a broken left cheekbone. The injury is not expected to cause him to miss the start of the season. He said he could have played Friday if it had been a regular season game.
Malkin was hurt after sending a pass that LeClair missed. Malkin circled around the right side of the net before running into LeClair -- and trying to hurdle over him -- behind the left goal post.
"I was going to the net and he made a fantastic pass," LeClair said. "I was all ready to shoot it, but the puck stopped on me, and when I went to readjust, I kind of caught a rut, and that's when everything broke loose and I went into the boards. ... I tried to brace myself and we ended up colliding."
Malkin left his Russian club, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, last month to join the Penguins and play in the NHL. The team is threatening legal action against the Penguins or the league.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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