The Penguins entered Monday’s tilt against the visiting Blue Jackets without three of their better defensemen (the injured Paul Martin, Rob Scuderi and Brooks Orpik) and one of their best forwards (the suspended James Neal). They’re also without forward Tanner Glass and goalie Tomas Vokoun, both of whom are on the injured reserve.
If this injury-riddled fate befell certain other NHL teams, they’d be forgiven for withering in its wake. But in Pittsburgh, as long as either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin is in the lineup, the Pens have got a decent chance to win.
Furthermore, when both superstars are playing, as they were against Columbus, the Pens have a better-than-decent chance; in this case, Crosby and Malkin provided all the offense Pittsburgh needed (or could muster) in a 2-1 win over the Jackets.
The game was the first for Malkin after missing two games with a lower body injury, but he looked none the worse for wear in scoring the first goal of the night.