is reeling after taking a big hit in last night's game against Florida. [Gene J. Puskar/AP]
We don't yet know exactly how badly Evgeni Malkin was injured after brutally slamming his head into the boards in last night's game against the Panthers. But we do know that our early fears have been confirmed. This, from Rob Rossi at the Pittsburgh Tribune:
Evgeni Malkin is experiencing concussion symptoms, including severe headache and mild disorientation, multiple sources confirmed Saturday. Malkin was injured early in the third period of the Penguins’ win over Florida at Consol Energy Center on Friday. He did not finish the game after sliding into the end-zone boards. The back of his head appeared to bounce off the boards, and Malkin’s neck snapped back in a seeming whiplash motion.
A team source said Malkin was out of the lineup for Sunday's home game against the Lightning. After that? Who knows. A mild concussion may mean he's out for a matter of days. But as the Pens know all too well from Sidney Crosby's brain injuries, these things can be wildly unpredictable. At this point, we just have to hope for the best.
It's worth noting that no one involved thought that Erik Gudbranson's hit was dirty in any way.
"I just finished my check," Gudbranson said after the game. "You never want to see a guy go down. He's in a vulnerable position. But you can’t pass up a hit. Its unfortunate that he got hurt on the play, but it’s one I’d make every time."