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Malkin experiencing concussion symptoms

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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

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

 
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