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Penguins Star Evgeni Malkin Could Return Tuesday Vs. Blues
It's a potential Stanley Cup Finals preview on Tuesday night in the NHL as Pittsburgh hosts St. Louis in w matchup that could easily be replayed in the Stanley Cup Finals this June. The Penguins could get back one of their superstars as well in Evgeni Malkin. Bet on the game at Bovada.
Malkin has missed the past four games because of a lower-body injury but did skate at practice Sunday. Malkin has 68 points on the season.
"[Malkin], it might be 50-50 [on Tuesday] or a little bit longer shot," coach Mike Johnston said. "It's hard for me to tell because I want to see how the trainers feel that he reacted to the ice session today, the limited amount that he did."
Fellow forward Patric Hornqvist also skated Sunday but isn't likely to return yet. Hornqvist (undisclosed) has been out since March 15. In news that's isn't much of a surprise, winger Pascal Dupuis (blood clot) won't play again this season. Dupuis has been on the sidelines since being diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung on Nov. 19. He got off to a great start this year with six goals and 11 points in 16 games. GM Jim Rutherford expects Dupuis to be back next season. The team initially held out hope that Dupuis could return for the postseason. He is prohibited from contact while taking blood thinners to treat the condition.
Pittsburgh has 90 points and is third in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins come off a 3-1 win in Arizona on Saturday. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith inadvertently banked a clearance pass off Brandon Sutter's backside and into his own net, helping the Penguins snap a four-game losing streak. Daniel Winnik's redirect over Smith's head and under the crossbar 4 minutes later in the second period put the Penguins ahead. Sidney Crosby's 23rd goal into an empty net with 12 seconds left sealed it. He also earned his 50th assist on Winnik's goal, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 30 shots.
The Blues lead the Central Division with 97 points but have lost three straight. They were beaten 2-1 in OT at Detroit on Sunday. The Red Wings had a man advantage for the final 1:21 of regulation and the opening moments of overtime, and Justin Abdelkader scored 24 seconds into the OT. Alexander Steen scored for the Blues on a power-play goal at 9:38 of the second period. Jake Allen finished with 23 saves for the Blues, who were playing their fifth game in a six-game road trip and the second in less than 24 hours.
Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson, who left the 6-3 loss at the Minnesota Wild on Saturday with an upper-body injury, did not skate Monday and is a game-time decision. Allen will start again in net. The Blues are 2-1-2 on the road trip, but have lost the past three after opening with shutout victories against the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames. The Blues penalty kill, which was as low as 23rd in the NHL at one point, was 10th entering play Monday and has killed off 40 of 43 penalties in the past 13 games.
These teams met Feb. 21 in St. Louis. Blake Comeau had three points, including two goals, to help the Penguins defeat the Blues 4-2. Vladimir Tarasenko had two assists for the Blues.
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