Malkin, Rust, Maatta Ruled Out for Final Two Regular Season Games

Following the Pittsburgh Penguins’ morning skate today, head coach Mike Sullivan announced that Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust and Olli Maatta will remain out of the lineup for their two remaining regular season games.

There was quite a bit of confusion at today’s media scrum, as Sullivan originally misspoke, stating that the three of them would miss the next two weeks. He clarified afterward that he meant games, referring to tonight’s matchup vs. the Washington Capitals and Saturday’s finale against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sullivan did not elaborate on whether or not any of them would be available for the first round of playoffs.

Malkin’s original diagnosis was 6-8 weeks, with his return falling somewhere in the second round if the Penguins advance that far. However, Rust and Maatta haven’t been discussed much, so it’s unclear exactly how long they’ll remain out.

Malkin’s injury occurred when the Penguins faced the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 11. He positioned himself awkwardly on the boards in anticipation of a hit by Columbus’ Dalton Prout, which caused his wrist to take the brunt of the hit. Video of the play is below.

Maatta suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury on March 24, while Rust has missed the last four games with an undisclosed ailment.