Crosby isn't seriously injured, but Malkin

Dave Molinari

The Penguins lost a world-class center Sunday night.

Precisely what’s wrong with Evgeni Malkin — and how long he might be out — isn’t known yet.

He apparently was hurt when a shot by teammate Kris Letang struck him on the lower right leg or foot late in the second period of the Penguins’ 2-1 victory against Tampa Bay at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Malkin did not return, and coach Dan Bylsma didn’t offer much of a prognosis.

“I don’t have a great feel for the severity,” he said.

But regardless of how serious — or minor — Malkin’s injury turns out to be, the Penguins know they could have come out of this game in far worse shape than they did. Their other world-class center got what appeared, at first blush, to be a potentially catastrophic injury in the first minute of play.

Sidney Crosby was skating toward the Lightning zone 40 seconds into the game when Lightning right winger Steve Downie rode him down to the ice from behind, causing Crosby’s right knee to bend at a decidedly unnatural angle.

“I thought it was going to be pretty bad,” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said.

It didn’t take a medical degree to reach that conclusion, and Crosby adjourned to the bench while Downie went to the penalty box to serve a roughing minor.