Penguins centers Evgeni Malkin, Nick Bjugstad out 'longer term' with lower-body injuries

Pittsburgh Penguins centers Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad are both expected to be out "longer term" with lower-body injuries, according to head coach Mike Sullivan. Sullivan noted that Malkin will be out longer than Bjugstad.

"We would expect Geno to be out a little bit longer than Nick," but added that Malkin's injury will not sideline him for the entire season. 

Both players suffered injuries in the second game of the season during the Penguins' 7-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

Malkin collided into the boards with Blue Jacket's defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov in the second period ,which resulted in the injury to his lower back. Bjugstad left with an undisclosed issue in the third period. 

Pittsburgh will look different for a while with the two centers out of the lineup for the foreseeable future. 

Malkin had 21 goals and 72 points in 68 games last year, while Bjugstad had nine goals and 14 points in 32 games with the Penguins after coming to the team from the Florida Panthers. Malkin has one goal so far this season.

Things are not so great for the Penguins at the moment, but it is not all bad. The team posted a photo of a very happy Bjugstad holding a puppy for their pet calendar, saying that the injured player is in "good spirits." 

Bjugstad is not be able to see ice time during games, for now, but he does get to play with this cute pup. 

The Penguins will be at home on Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena against the Winnipeg Jets

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