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Malkin to miss Pittsburgh’s next two games

Dec 18, 2013, 1:05 PM EDT

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Evgeni Malkin‘s lower-body ailment will sideline him for three games.

Malkin, who already missed Monday’s 3-1 win over Toronto, will be held out of tonight’s Rivalry Night game against the Rangers on NBCSN and Thursday’s game against Minnesota, according to Pens head coach Dan Bylsma.

Health-wise, this calendar year has been a tough one for Malkin. He’s already missed a pair of games this season with a lower-body ailment, which comes after a injury-plagued ’13 campaign that saw him miss 17 games with upper-body and concussion issues.

When healthy, though, Malkin has been dynamic.

He won two first star of the week honors in November and finished as the NHL’s second star for the month, notching 21 assists — according to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 21 assists were the most by an NHL player in one calendar month since January 1996, when Wayne Gretzky recorded 21 helpers for the Los Angeles Kings.

Malkin currently sits third in NHL scoring with 41 points in 32 games, and leads all skaters with 32 assists.

Related: Get your game notes: Penguins at Rangers

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