Penguins' Evgeni Malkin skates for 1st time in rehab from injury

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Chris Adamski, The Tribune-Review, Greensburg
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Apr. 7—For the first time since suffering a lower-body injury March 16, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin took to the ice Wednesday.

"Geno skated today for the first time and is making process with rehab," coach Mike Sullivan said during a video conference call with reporters after the team practiced Wednesday in New York.

Malkin, who did not take part in practice, has missed the past 10 games. The injury snapped an eight-game scoring streak in which Malkin had four goals and eight assists. Despite the missed time, the 34-year-old ranks fifth on the Penguins in points (24) and goals (tied, eight).

Sullivan originally had termed Malkin's status as "week-to-week."

In meeting with select reporters Wednesday, Penguins general manager Ron Hextall said he expects Malkin back in the lineup before the regular season's end May 8.

"That's certainly our hope," Hextall said. "With injuries, you never know which way it goes. But we are operating with the assumption that he'll be back."

Captain Sidney Crosby termed the news "huge" that Malkin was cleared to skate.

"It's a big step," Crosby said from Madison Square Garden on a video call with media. "Knowing how important he is to this team and just the amount of guys that we have seen go out here lately, it's always great when you hear guys are progressing, and it's the same with Geno."

The Penguins went 6-1-1 in the first eight games Malkin missed but have been outscored 15-9 in losing their past two.

Keep up with the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at cadamski@triblive.com or via Twitter .