Pittsburgh will face the Panthers at Consol Energy Center, a day removed from its most impressive performance in 10 days. After two division losses following a 2-1 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Penguins rebounded with a 4-2 win against the St. Louis Blues.
The Panthers had a drastically different experience on Saturday. After two division wins following a 2-1 shootout loss to the Blues, Florida allowed four unanswered goals in a 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Forward Nick Foligno, who did not play in a 5-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday with a lower-body injury, could suit up against Pittsburgh. Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said Foligno will take part in pregame warm-ups with the intention to play.
"I was a super fan watching the game [on Tuesday]," Foligno said. "So I'm not good watching. Hopefully I can get back in there tonight. … I feel a lot better today. I was pretty sore the past couple days, but I'm getting the swelling down and felt I could get my foot in the skates."
Foligno, who skated alongside forwards Marko Dano and Artem Anisimov on Thursday morning, is tied with forward Ryan Johansen for the team lead in points (52 each) and leads Columbus with 22 goals. Prior to his injury, he had at least one point in five consecutive games, scoring four goals during that stretch.
The Penguins have yet to score a goal against the Capitals in two games this season, which they've lost by a combined score of 7-0. Washington defeated Pittsburgh 4-0 at Verizon Center on Jan. 28, with forward Alex Ovechkin scoring twice, a month after forward Eric Fehr's two goals led Washington to a 3-0 win in Pittsburgh on Dec. 27.
The Penguins will look to avoid a third shutout at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday.
"I think they played that 1-1-3 [defense in the first two games] and we've had a couple teams play that against us," defenseman Paul Martin said. "For us, just managing the puck through the neutral zone and making sure we get it in deep and spend some time in their end."
Comeau, who has not played since sustaining an upper-body injury Dec. 22 against the Florida Panthers, was on a line to the left of center Evgeni Malkin and right wing Patric Hornqvist during the morning skate Wednesday. He is sixth on Pittsburgh with 11 goals in 32 games, six more goals than he scored with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season.
Penguins coach Mike Johnston did not confirm if Comeau will return against Detroit.
"It feels good," Comeau said. "I had a good, hard skate Monday with the team. I skated yesterday. Third one today and it reacted really well, so hopefully I can get in there tonight. … I've been skating without a puck for probably two-and-a-half weeks now and I've been skating with a puck for 10 days. So it was nice to get on the ice on Monday.
Letang and Hornqvist each took the ice for pregame warm-ups on Tuesday after participating in morning skate. Penguins coach Mike Johnston said each would be a game-time decision following the skate, with each saying they felt well enough to play.
Defenseman Kris Letang and forward Patric Hornqvist each could play Tuesday after participating in Pittsburgh's morning skate. Letang missed one game after sustaining a concussion during the Penguins' 3-2 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 20.
Penguins coach Mike Johnston said Letang and Hornqvist, as well as forward David Perron, will be game-time decisions. Perron left practice early Monday.
Letang sustained an undisclosed injury after Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo hit him into the boards during the first period of Pittsburgh’s 3-2 overtime loss Tuesday.
Malkin (undisclosed) missed time in the second period and then did not participate in the final 4:05 plus overtime against the Flyers. He was on the bench during overtime and attempted to take the ice during what became a too-many-men penalty against Pittsburgh.
Letang participated in the Wednesday morning skate but did not take the ice for warm-ups. Malkin did not take part in the morning skate but was in warm-ups.
Letang participated in Pittsburgh's optional morning skate after leaving its game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. Letang sustained an undisclosed injury after Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo hit him into the boards in the first period of the Penguins' 3-2 overtime loss.
Penguins coach Mike Johnston said Letang skated Wednesday to get some activity and that he still is undergoing some tests and will be a game-time decision.
"It's good to see him skating around and looking good out there," Penguins forward Zach Sill said. "I didn't know [if Letang would be OK]. I just saw him this morning and it was good seeing him this morning. But I didn't hear anything last night."
Defenseman Olli Maatta, who has missed 15 games with an upper-body injury, is the last Penguins defenseman remaining on an injury report that once included Paul Martin, Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff. Those three are back in the lineup, but Maatta's return this season is in question.
Penguins coach Mike Johnston said Maatta is undergoing further tests and that it has not been determined if he will miss the remainder of the season at this point.
"It's difficult given his situation and everything he's been through," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "But if there's anybody that can handle it, it's him. It doesn't make it any easier, but he certainly has the right mentality and approaches things the right way."