Penguins' Malkin aiming for Saturday return

Star forward Evgeni Malkin is closing in on returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins' lineup.

Malkin, who has been sidelined since Oct. 5 due to a lower-body injury, is hoping to be on the ice Saturday when the Penguins host the Edmonton Oilers.

"I want to do my best and be back as soon as possible," said Malkin, who was injured in Pittsburgh's second game. "I skated last week every day and I feel good. We'll see what's going on the next couple of days."

The 33-year-old Malkin is itching to lace up the skates and get back to helping his teammates.

"I miss the ice so much. I didn't play all the time all summer," Malkin told reporters. "I missed the last three weeks. It's a little bit hard (mentally) but I try to stay positive."

The Penguins are looking forward to having Malkin rejoin the power-play unit. His 143 power-play goals rank second in franchise history behind Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux (236). He typically plays on the right side when Pittsburgh has the man-advantage and is particularly potent from near the right circle.

"(Malkin) is going to be able to make plays if he gets in that spot for a one-timer and he's able to create a lot from either his shot or setting up guys from there," star forward Sidney Crosby told reporters. "As long as we all continue to all move and we're all unpredictable, that's the best thing that we can do.

"We don't really have to change. He's going to make plays, and we've just got to get open."

Malkin scored a goal in the season opener before suffering the injury two nights later. The four-time All-Star scored 21 goals last season for his 11th season of more than 20.

--Field Level Media