Sports

Malkin skates with teammates prior to Game 1

Malkin skates with teammates prior to Game 1

Even knowing they wouldn't have him in the lineup for Game 1 of their second-round series against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champions could glean some optimism that the skilled Russian center won't be out long with his apparent leg injury.

"Obviously, some things we'd like to work on", said Holtby, who stopped all 17 shots through two periods before allowing three on eight in the third.

Before the playoffs this season, Ovechkin cited losing Game 4 against the Crosby-less Penguins as one of the reasons the Capitals lost that series in seven games.

Then the Sidney Crosby-Jake Guentzel connection took over. "They have some guys who have contributed right through their lineup".

Mason Rudolph joins James Washington with Pittsburgh Steelers in third round
He finished his OSU career with 4,462 receiving yards, most in Cowboy history. The Pittsburgh Steelers called Washington's name with the 60th pick.

"He's a difference-maker and not an easy guy to replace", Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Malkin. But one of the things that has made the Penguins so hard to match up against during their run of consecutive Stanley Cup titles and nine consecutive series wins has been the one-two center combination of Crosby and Malkin.

Matt Murray made 32 saves, and the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from two goals down to beat the Washington Capitals 3-2, in Game One of their Eastern Conference Second Round series.

Sullivan ruled Malkin out for Game 1 a day in advance but otherwise has referred to the star center's status as day-to-day. Without the 2009 Conn Smythe Trophy victor, the Penguins rely more heavily on superstar Sidney Crosby and fellow centers Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan. This after after leading the league in postseason goal-scoring a season ago. Malkin missed Game 6 of the first round against the Philadelphia Flyers with an undisclosed injury, while Hagelin left the same contest following a hit by Flyers captain Claude Giroux. Sheahan skated there today with Phil Kessel and Dominik Simon. The Capitals likely will use Kuznetsov's line or the second line of Nicklas Backstrom centering Chandler Stephenson and T.J. Oshie against Crosby's line. "So we have a good team regardless". Hornqvist missed the previous two games. Especially since it appears Malkin will at least be an option to play in Game 2. Pittsburgh won 3-2 without him to take a 3-1 series lead.


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