Penguins GM: Malkin played on sprained ankle

Watch as Carl Hagelin scores the overtime winner to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins and send the New York Rangers off to the next round.

Evgeni Malkin had zero points in his team’s five-game, first-round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The star forward also had a sprained ankle, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford revealed Tuesday.

“Geno is the type of guy that is not going to use excuses,” Rutherford told reporters at his end-of-season press conference. “He had a sprained ankle. He came back sooner than most players would.”

Playing hurt is nearly a prerequisite for the playoffs. And only after a team is eliminated, as the Penguins were in five games by the New York Rangers, do we discover who has been injured — and how severely.

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Rutherford also revealed that Patric Hornqvist, who scored two goals in the series, was playing with a broken rib.

Despite Malkin’s ankle injury, Rutherford said the Russian is likely to join Sidney Crosby in the Czech Republic and participate in May’s World Championships.

“He is committed to his country,” Rutherford said. “I think he will play.”

Malkin missed 13 regular-season games due to injury this season but still managed to maintain a point-per-game pace, registering 70 points in 69 games.

In light of Pittsburgh’s disappointing spring and this summer’s thin free agent market, the GM said he expects to pursue a new winger to play alongside his elite centres via trade.

“We’d like to get more speed in our lineup,” Rutherford said. “We need to get some of these younger players started.”

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