The Pittsburgh Penguins have been running away with the Metropolitan Division despite injuries that would have decimated most teams. As they prepare for their first game of 2014, two of their injured stars may be ready to play against the New York Rangers on Friday.
Defenseman Kris Letang, a Norris Trophy finalist last season, skated at practice Thursday and showed no ill effects from elbow surgery that has kept him out for three weeks. He said he may be ready to return. CenterEvgeni Malkin, who has missed eight games with a lower-body injury, has been skating since Dec. 27 and said after practice he might be ready to go.
Coach Dan Bylsma said he will decide after the morning skate.
The Rangers could see a familiar face wearing black and gold. The Penguins claimed forward Taylor Pyatt from the Rangers on waivers Thursday. He could take the place of Chris Conner, who will miss six-to-eight weeks with a hand injury that requires surgery.
Here’s a look at the games scheduled for Friday: