The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without the services of one of their top snipers for at least a couple of weeks.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma announced on Thursday that forward Evgeni Malkin will miss two to three weeks with a shoulder strain after attempting to play through the injury for more than a week.
The good news is that it is not the same shoulder that caused Malkin problems at the start of the 2006-07 campaign.
"Geno is going to be out of the lineup for a couple of weeks," Bylsma told the Penguins' official website. "He strained his shoulder about 10 days or so ago. I don't know the exact day. It is precautionary for the player. We are worried about the safety of the shoulder. A couple weeks of rest and rehab will get that thing healthy so he can get back onto the ice."
The absence will snap a string of 254 consecutive regular-season appearances by last year's playoff MVP and his coach said that the Russian was disappointed to miss time, although he will travel with the team to Columbus.
"Obviously he has played with it and could gut it out, which is what Geno would be apt to do," Bylsma said. "At this time of the year the concern is the player and this is a precautionary measure."
"I can play good, but it's the early season," Malkin said. "I feel good. It's not a big problem, and I'm fine. I'll be watching and supporting the team on the trip. It'll be fine."
"It's OK. It's not the pain. It feels good. It's because it doesn't feel comfortable now."
Malkin has four goals and 10 assists in 12 games for the Pens this season and is tied for the team lead with Sidney Crosby.