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As home and home with Sabres looms, Pens lose Murray but may get Malkin back

The Buffalo Sabres go from one rugged test to another this week, with Tuesday night's game against the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning followed by a home-and-home series this weekend against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions suffered a big loss to their lineup Monday night as goaltender Matt Murray was knocked out but could also have a big addition in the return of Evgeni Malkin when they play the Sabres Friday in KeyBank Center.

Murray is out for the weekend and is listed as week to week after suffering a lower-body injury during Monday night's game against Philadelphia. Murray took a direct hit from Jakub Voracek as the Philadelphia forward slid into him on the tail end of a breakaway. Rookie Tristan Jarry is now the Penguins' No. 1 goaltender and Pittsburgh called up Casey DeSmith from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to back him up.

Meanwhile, Malkin continues to skate on his own as he recovers from an upper-body injury and the Penguins said today he is scheduled to travel to Buffalo. That means he will likely take the morning skate here Friday to determine if he can return after sitting out four games.

Evgeni Malkin could return to meet the Sabres here Friday night. (Getty Images)

Malkin has seven goals and 21 points in 22 games this season. He has 43 points in 34 career games against Buffalo with 14 goals and 29 assists.

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