The Penguins aren't planning to have Evgeni Malkin back this season.
Coach Dan Bylsma nodded his head yes Sunday when asked if he was preparing as if the injured All-Star center won't return until the fall.
Malkin tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee when he collided with defenseman Tyler Myers in the second period of Friday night's win over Buffalo. It was Malkin's first game back after sitting out five games with a knee problem and a sinus infection.
Bylsma said it hasn't been determined whether Malkin will have an operation or will try to rehabilitate the knee without surgery. Surgery would definitely rule Malkin out for the season.
"Even with (just) rehab, I'm not sure what the prognosis would be," Bylsma said before Sunday's game against the Washington Capitals.
The Penguins are already missing some major star power at the center position. Sidney Crosby is out with a concussion, his return date uncertain. Mark Letestu is out four to six weeks with a knee injury.
The Penguins added some needed manpower by recalling forward Tim Wallace from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.