NHL Buzz: Malkin game-time decision for Penguins against Islanders


Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2020-21 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Evgeni Malkin will be a game-time decision against the New York Islanders on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN360, SNP, MSG+, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV).

The forward was removed from practice Wednesday because of an eye irritation.

“Casey [DeSmith is] going to play in goal. All the other guys will be game-time decisions,” coach Mike Sullivan said.

Malkin has scored six points (two goals, four assists) in 11 game this season.

Forward Zach Aston-Reese is likely to make his season debut after having offseason shoulder surgery. — Brian Compton


Columbus Blue Jackets

Elvis Merzlikins will be the backup goalie against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, FS-O, NHL.TV) after he was removed from injured reserve.

Merzlikins missed the past three games after sustaining an upper-body injury in practice Feb. 3. He will back up Joonas Korpisalo.

Columbus did not have a morning skate Thursday, and Merzlikins did not practice Wednesday.

Merzlikins is 2-2-1 with a 2.76 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in six games (five starts) this season.

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