Malkin (knee) participated in Monday's game-day skate sporting a non-contact sweater. Coach Mike Sullivan told reporters, "He's at the next stage of his rehab process. Our medical thinks he's ready to have our players around him and participate in a non-contact fashion. We're excited about that step -- it's certainly real encouraging."

Malkin is with the team for its four-game Pacific Division road trip, which is certainly a step in the right direction. The Russian center is expected to be ready to play at some point during December, though the team hasn't provided any specific date for his return to action. Once cleared to play, Malkin will reclaim his spot on the second line and should rejoin the No. 1 power-play unit.

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