MONCTON, New Brunswick -- Evgeni Malkin was injured during his first NHL exhibition game Wednesday night when he collided with Pittsburgh teammate John LeClair early in the second period of the Penguins' 5-4 win over Philadelphia.
Malkin was not available for comment after the game, but was seen leaving the Moncton Coliseum on his own without a sling. The team said the 20-year-old Russian rookie center was taken to a hospital for further evaluation of an upper-body injury.
Penguins general manager Ray Shero said Malkin will be re-evaluated Thursday in Pittsburgh, but could not be more specific about the injury.
"At this point anything else would be speculation," Shero said. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow. Frankly, I was happy he got up considering the way he went down."
Penguins veteran winger Mark Recchi also was sent to hospital after he was hit with a high stick in the first period.
Malkin was injured after making a dazzling pass to LeClair. The veteran winger, after missing a great scoring chance, crashed into the boards behind the net and took out Malkin in the process. The Russian catapulted over LeClair and landed hard on the ice. A hush came over the crowd as Malkin, the No. 2 overall pick behind Alexander Ovechkin in 2004, lay sprawled on the ice for 3-4 minutes.
"Malkin made a great pass, but I caught an edge and lost my balance," LeClair said. "It's disappointing to see a rising star get hurt like that."
Malkin got up and skated off the ice, but was favoring his left arm.
"It's never fun to see that happen, especially in his first game," Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby said. "Hopefully, we'll get him back soon. He looked good out there, even on the play he got hurt. He looked real comfortable playing at this level."
Malkin had an assist on Sergei Gonchar's first-period goal and also displayed a pair of sensational inside-out moves later in the opening period.
Malkin was making his much-anticipated debut after his controversial departure from Russia, a matter that remains in the hands of lawyers on both sides of the ocean because he signed a contract with Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk before also signing a three-year deal with the Penguins.
Gonchar finished with two goals and Crosby, Ryan Malone and Colby Armstrong also scored for Pittsburgh, 1-1 in exhibition play. Mike Richards scored twice and Jeff Carter and Mark Cullen added goals for Philadelphia in the Flyers' preseason opener.
Jocelyn Thibault went all the way in goal for the Penguins, making 23 saves.
Robert Esche went two periods in goal for the Flyers, giving up three goals on 22 shots. Rookie Martin Houle then allowed two goals on nine shots.