The Pittsburgh Penguins are set to face off against the Buffalo Sabres tonight, and while Ian Cole remains at the center of everyone's attention, one mustn't forget that one of the best player's on the team may be making his long-awaited return to the lineup.
We're not sure if Evgeni Malkin is awake yet or not (he should be), but regardless of how he feels this morning, according to TribLIVE's Jonathan Bombulie, the star centerman will be a game-time decision tonight.
There's always the possibility that Mike Sullivan rules on his status earlier in the day, but for now, it appears we will have to the minutes leading up to puck drop to find out if Malkin will play.
All signs are pointing towards his return, as he returned to his usual spot on the second line in practice on Thursday, with Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel.
“Whenever you get one of the best players in the world back in your lineup, it adds to your team,” Kessel said in reference to getting Malkin back in the lineup.
Malkin wouldn't confirm what exactly he was dealing with, other than it was the product of multiple hard hits to the same location in consecutive games. His injury was to the upper-body.
In the 4 games he missed, the Penguins went 2-2. With a 13-10-3 record, they'll be hoping to start stringing together some wins and get out of the wild card race.