Evgeni Malkin's return to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup was short-lived.
The Russian sniper was forced to leave Friday's game against the Buffalo Sabres with what appeared to be a leg injury after a collision with Sabres defenceman Tyler Myers.
Early in the second period, Malkin got tied up racing for a loose puck in the corner with Myers. The towering defenceman appeared to fall on Malkin's right leg which crumpled underneath him. Malkin remained on the ice for some time before skating off with some assistance. He immediately headed to the Penguins dressing room and did not return.
According to the Penguins' official Twitter feed, Malkin suffered what the team is calling a lower-body injury. He is expected to undergo an MRI in the near future to determine the extent of the injury.
The timing is particularly poor for the Penguins as Malkin had just returned to the lineup after missing the past five games with an injury to his left knee and a sinus infection. The good news is that the injury appeared to be on his right leg.
The 24-year old Malkin has 15 goals and 27 assists in 43 games this season.
The Penguins are currently being devastated by the injury bug as leading scorer Sidney Crosby remains sidelined with a concussion while rookie centre Mark Letestu is expected to miss up to six weeks with a knee injury.