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Malkin experiencing concussion symptoms

Evgeni Malkin is experiencing concussion symptoms, including severe headache and mild disorientation, multiple sources confirmed Saturday.

Malkin was injured early in the third period of the Penguins’ win over Florida at Consol Energy Center on Friday.

He did not finish the game after sliding into the end-zone boards. The back of his head appeared to bounce off the boards, and Malkin’s neck snapped back in a seeming whiplash motion.

Malkin was slated for further medical evaluation Saturday, coach Dan Bylsma said after the game Friday night.

Malkin was not available for comment.

He is not expected to play against Tampa Bay at home on Sunday night, the sources said.

The Penguins will be on the road most of next week, and Malkin’s status for that trip had not been determined as of Saturday morning.

An update on Malkin’s status is expected from Bylsma after the Penguins’ practice Saturday afternoon.

Some teammates witnessed Malkin walking normally in the dressing room late Friday, but none spoke directly with him.

Penguins players took no issue with Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson, who raced Malkin to the spot in the Florida zone where Malkin was upended and slid back-first into the boards.

Malkin had entered the zone with great speed, darting toward the crease near the goal line.

The game tied, 1-1, Gudbranson was simply making what players commonly call a hockey play.

“I just finished my check,” Gudbranson said. “You never want to see a guy go down. He’s in a vulnerable position. But you can’t pass up a hit.

“It’s unfortunate that he got hurt on the play, but it’s one I’d take every time.”

Malkin spent over a minute on the ice, his head buried in the blue gloves of the Penguins’ alternate uniform set.

He left ice on his “own accord,” Bylsma said Friday night.

The Penguins are no stranger to a franchise player dealing with concussion symptoms.

Sidney Crosby, the team captain, played in only eight games from Jan. 5, 2011-March 15, 2012, because of lingering concussion symptoms.

Malkin, 26, is a two-time NHL scoring champion. He was league MVP last season.

He has only four goals this season, but his 21 points are ninth in the NHL.

–Rob Rossi

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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