Penguins’ Rust out ‘longer term,’ Malkin return imminent

Pittsburgh Penguins' Bryan Rust skates during an NHL hockey game against the Calgary Flames in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh Penguins forward Bryan Rust’s upper-body injury may be worse than the team initially feared.

Coach Mike Sullivan classified Rust’s injury as ”longer term.” Rust left during the second period of a 4-1 win over Colorado last Thursday after crashing into the net. Sullivan said Monday that the team is hopeful the injury isn’t season ending but he is reluctant to put a specific time frame on it. Rust has 12 goals and 13 assists in 50 games for Pittsburgh this season.

Center Evgeni Malkin skated with his teammates on Monday and is a game-time decision for Tuesday’s visit by Vancouver. Malkin has missed seven straight games with a lower-body injury. He had hoped to return last Saturday against Arizona but was a late scratch.