Evgeni Malkin is back, baby - Sports1
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Evgeni Malkin is back, baby

For most teams that win the Stanley Cup, there will always be a reckoning with father time and competitive cycles. But there will always be outliers, and one of them — the battered but rejuvenated Pittsburgh Penguins — is about to get even better with the return of superstar forward Evgeni Malkin.

To be where the Penguins are now — fourth in the Metropolitan Division, two points behind the third-place Washington Capitals and three behind the second-place New York Rangers in the Caps and Rangers — is this. Thanks to the culture and talent that still powers the pen, even though Malkin and captain Sidney Crosby are in the back nine during their Hall of Fame careers. They’ve proven they can win without a fully healthy roster. Pittsburgh played without Crosby for the first 12 games of the season, and Malkin just returned for his first regular-season game of the year.


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