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Saturday, December 14, 2013
Evgeni Malkin hurts left leg

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DETROIT -- Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin left Saturday's game against the Detroit Red Wings after hurting his left leg, and the team hopes he doesn't have a long-term injury.

Malkin was seen walking with a noticeable limp in the team's dressing room, and Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said after Pittsburgh's 4-1 win that Malkin would be further evaluated Sunday.

Malkin got tangled up with Detroit's Luke Glendening early in the third period and lost his balance, and his left skate took the brunt of the collision with the boards behind Pittsburgh's net. The Russian forward slowly got up and kept his left skate in the air as he was helped off the ice.

Malkin was called for holding on the play, but he couldn't serve the penalty because he was being evaluated.

Earlier in the game, Malkin went off the ice after getting shook up by a three-man hit. Glendening checked Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz, who hit and knocked down Malkin. He got up, gingerly skated off the ice and went toward the dressing room before returning to play.

Malkin had a goal and two assists in the game, giving him 601 points in his career. He ranks among NHL leaders this season with 41 points.

He will be a key player in Russia's quest to win gold in men's hockey when it hosts the Winter Olympics in two months. That might explain why Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, who also is expected to play a major role for the Russian team, appeared to be waiting to talk to Malkin outside the Penguins' dressing room well after Saturday night's game.

Defenseman Kris Letang was a game-time decision and did not play. Bylsma said Letang has an upper-body injury and will have tests Sunday to determine the severity.

"I really don't have a great idea on either," Bylsma said when asked whether the players might have long-term injuries.

The Penguins played the Red Wings without four of their top six defensemen.

ESPN The Magazine's Craig Custance and The Associated Press contributed to this report.