Penguins rookie Malkin leaves preseason debut with injury

Sep 21, 2006 - 2:58 AM MONCTON, New Brunswick (Ticker) - Evgeni Malkin's debut in North America failed to go as planned.

Malkin, the second overall pick in the 2004 draft, left the Pittsburgh Penguins' 5-4 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury after colliding with teammate John LeClair.

With a cloud of controversy hanging over his head after leaving his team in Russia during the summer to pursue a career in the NHL, Malkin made a splash in his first preseason game with the Penguins, recording an assist on defenseman Sergei Gonchar's first goal of the contest 90 seconds into the first period.

But early in the middle session, Malkin was unintentionally upended along the end boards by LeClair, causing him to soar through the air and land awkwardly on the ice. After being attended to by the team trainer, Malkin exited to the locker room, favoring his left arm.

The 20-year-old Malkin was taken to the hospital but returned to the Moncton Coliseum during the third period. Penguins general manager Ray Shero vaguely described the ailment as an "upper body" injury.

Pittsburgh's Mark Recchi also left the game after being hit in the eye with a stick in the first period.

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