Tuesday March 25th, 2014

Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin played hurt during a frustrating 1-0 loss to the Blues on Sunday. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

By Allan Muir

The Penguins announced this morning that Evgeni Malkin will be lost for two to three weeks with a foot injury. According to coach Dan Bylsma, the big center was hurt on his first shift in a 1-0 loss to St. Louis over the weekend, but continued to play through it. No further details were offered.

There's never a good time for a team to lose a superstar to injury but, all things considered, now's as good a time as any for the Pens.

Pittsburgh has a nearly insurmountable 13-point lead over the second-place Rangers in the Metropolitan Division and trails Boston by seven points for the Eastern Conference title. Barring a complete collapse -- or an epic run -- they're essentially locked into position heading into the postseason. And the time frame for being out of action puts Malkin back in the lineup right around the beginning of the playoffs. And maybe while that foot is healing, the various bumps and bruises he's been dealing with might take care of themselves, too.

While Geno's taking it easy, the Pens will look to Brandon Sutter to pick up some of the slack. The third liner has been outstanding on the defensive side of the puck, but Pittsburgh will need more from him offensively if the Pens going to make a deep run this spring. NHL Power Rankings: Playoff intensity reflected with new No. 1 for Week 23

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.