Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin missed a second straight game with an upper-body injury, but Sidney Crosby picked up the slack, getting his 10th career hat trick Sunday and leading the Penguins past the Florida Panthers 4-0.
On Monday, the Penguins announced that Malkin will also sit out against the Sabres on Tuesday.
Crosby has poured in five goals during Malkin's absence to move into the NHL lead with 40. His 80 points are tied with Edmonton's Connor McDavid for tops in the league.
"He knows he's got a little more weight on his shoulders and he takes care of that," linemate Conor Sheary said of Crosby. Sheary and Jake Guentzel assisted on all three of Crosby's goals.
Malkin, who has 72 points in 62 games, has been dealing with the injury for some time, coach Mike Sullivan said Friday.
The Penguins have been ravaged by injuries. Sullivan also announced on Friday that defenseman Ron Hainsey is week-to-week with an upper-body injury. The Penguins acquired the 35-year-old Hainsey just before the trade deadline. He has one assist in 10 games since joining Pittsburgh.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.