Pens’ Malkin to undergo knee surgery

Sacrificing short term gain, for long term success, the Pittsburgh Penguins have decided to shut down their number two power forward, Evgeni Malkin, until next fall. Malkin, who is a two time one hundred point scorer and a former 2009 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, will indeed go under the knife on Thursday for surgery to repair a ruptured ACL and MCL in his right knee. Malkin, who missed time earlier this season with an injured left knee, was just coming back last Friday when he injured the knee in a collision with Buffalo Sabres’ defenceman, Tyler Myers. Following the surgery Malkin, who scored 15 goals and 37 points this season, will endure a challenging six month rehabilitation stint. Pittsburgh, who are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference with 72 points, are suffering numerous injuries, including their leading scorer, Sidney Crosby, who is out indefinately with a concussion. Also missing fromt he line-up are forwards, Chris Kunitz, Mike Comrie, Mark Letestu and Aaron Asham. Pittsburgh has a huge challenge ahead of them next week as they hit the road for nine of their next 11 games. Looking at the long term –the Penguins, without Malkin and Crosby, realistically, will have a hard time competing with the likes of the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning for first in the Eastern Conference. Look for the Penguins to trade for a scoring center at the deadline. One player available is veteran,Jason Arnott, who has scored 13 goals and 24 points this year. Meanwhile, Penguins coach, Dan Bylsma, wasn’t willing to wave the white flag over the lack of offence. “I’m pretty confident. I’ve tried a couple of different line combinations,” Bylsma said. “We’ll continue to look for lines and people who are — able and willing –to get to the offensive zone and play there — and get to the front of the net.”

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