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Penguins edge Flyers, lose C Malkin

Sep 21, 2006 - 1:27 AM MONCTON, New Brunswick (Ticker) -- Evgeni Malkin's much-anticipated debut ended in disappointment.

Malkin recorded an assist but left his first NHL game with an undisclosed injury as the Pittsburgh Penguins posted a 5-4 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Moncton Coliseum.

Drafted second overall in 2004, the 20-year-old Russian left his homeland team over the summer to join the Penguins, who figure to boast the top young center combination in the NHL with 2005 first overall selection Sidney Crosby and Malkin.

But after helping set up defenseman Sergei Gonchar's power-play goal early in the first period, Malkin left the game in the opening moments of the middle session after colliding with teammate John LeClair along the end boards behind Philadelphia's net.

As LeClair fell to one knee, Malkin toppled over him, landing awkwardly on the ice. After being attended to by Pittsburgh's trainer, the talented prospect made his way to the locker room, favoring his left arm.

Malkin was taken to a nearby hospital and returned to the arena during the third period but did not make his way to the Penguins' bench. After the game, Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero described it as an "upper body" injury.

Gonchar was the offensive star for the Penguins, scoring a pair of goals while assisting on three others. Crosby also tallied and made a remarkable backhand pass to Colby Armstrong for the game-winner midway through the third.

Former Flyer Mark Eaton tallied and Armstrong added an assist for the Penguins, who also lost Mark Recchi to a cheek injury in the first period.

Mike Richards scored twice and newcomer Kyle Calder picked up three assists for Philadelphia.

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