The Pens received big news heading into the game, as they got word of Evgeni Malkin‘s return to the ice. It was a return that was somewhat quicker than expected, after Malkin sustained a concussion sliding into the boards violently against the Florida Panthers back on February 22nd.
But Malkin passed all of the tests and was cleared before Monday night’s tilt with the Bolts. One does wonder if his return came a bit too quickly, but the Pens surely know what they’re doing in regard to concussions.
In the Penguins win against the Lightning on Monday, Malkin’s return was a welcome one. The Pens weren’t exactly lost without Malkin, going 2-2-0 in his absence, but it was a big boost. And after seeing what he did against the Lightning on Monday, you can see why.
With the Pens down 2-1 in the third period, Malkin took matters into his own hands. After stealing the puck, Malkin laid a ridiculous move on Eric Brewer, leaving the Lightning defenseman to go sailing across the ice in front of him. Anders Lindback never had a chance to stop this one, as Malkin hammered it home.
Here’s the video:
It’s not like this is unusual for Malkin. He had one of the goals of the year in 2011-2012 against the Lightning, skating through multiple Tampa Bay defenders for a goal in that one as well. With Evgeni Malkin now back in the lineup, the Penguins can continue their ascent up the Eastern Conference standings, especially if he’s going to continue scoring goals that look like that.