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Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin could return against Detroit Red Wings

By Connor Grott
Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin could return against Detroit Red Wings
Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has missed the team's last eight games with an upper-body injury. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

April 4 (UPI) -- Pittsburgh Penguins star forward Evgeni Malkin could return for the team's game against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said Malkin is a game-time decision for Thursday night's contest against the Red Wings. Malkin missed the team's last eight games after suffering an upper-body injury against the St. Louis Blues on March 16.

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He took part in a full-contact practice Wednesday, skating at second-line center during line rushes with wingers Bryan Rust and Phil Kessel.

"I hope [Thursday], I wake up and feel great and I'm ready to play," Malkin said. "Like I told you a week ago, I will try to play the last two games."

Pittsburgh (43-26-11), who is 4-2-2 without Malkin in the lineup after his recent injury, sits in third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins are sixth in the Eastern Conference, sitting two points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes and two points behind the New York Islanders with two games remaining.

The Penguins can clinch a postseason berth with two points. Pittsburgh finishes the regular season at the New York Rangers following Thursday's game against the Red Wings.

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Malkin is fourth on the Penguins in scoring with 71 points (21 goals, 50 assists) in 66 games this season.

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