The Penguins dodged the worst-case scenario -- a serious injury -- that came with having Evgeni Malkin play in the Kontinental Hockey League during the lockout that has shut down the NHL since mid-September.
Malkin leaves Metallurg Magnitogorsk to return to North America as the league's No. 2 scorer, and has piled up points with stunning regularity in recent weeks.
None of which has escaped the attention of Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.
"Evgeni Malkin has played a lot of games, and he's had a great last month and a half," Bylsma said today. "He's been doing unbelievable.
"I think that's a benefit for him, over a player who didn't do anything (during the lockout). He's clearly going to be in better game shape."
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