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Flames at Penguins preview

Letang will return for Pittsburgh; Brodie is game-time decision for Calgary

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

FLAMES (11-12-3) at PENGUINS (12-7-4)



The Game

Kris Letang will return to the lineup and TJ Brodie will be a game-time decision when the Pittsburgh Penguins play the Calgary Flames at PPG Paints Arena on Monday.

Letang, who missed Pittsburgh's past eight games because of a lower-body injury, participated in full contact in practice Sunday, when he returned to the top defense pair with Brian Dumoulin.

The Penguins are 2-0-2 in their past four games, and 4-1-3 in their past eight.

Brodie, who has missed the past five games, practiced with Calgary on Sunday for the first time since experiencing a medical episode in practice Nov. 14. The defenseman collapsed during a drill, started convulsing and was taken off the ice on a stretcher before being transported to a hospital. 

The Flames have been outscored 25-7, including being shut out three times, while going 1-5-1 in their past seven games after winning four of their previous five. They defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in a shootout Saturday.


Players to watch

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk has been held without a point in his past five games after having 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in his first 21 games this season.

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in his past nine games. He has 10 points (four goals, six assists) during a five-game point streak against the Flames.


They said it

"[Brodie] looks good. ... Looks good. Looks promising." -- Flames coach Bill Peters

"[Letang] can come right in and not miss a step. We've seen it before. It's good to have him back." -- Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Andrew Mangiapane

Milan Lucic -- Derek Ryan -- Dillon Dube

Tobias Rieder -- Mark Jankowski -- Michael Frolik

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Rasmus Andersson

Oliver Kylington -- Michael Stone

David Rittich

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Alexander Yelesin, Zac Rinaldo

Injured: Sam Bennett (upper body), Austin Czarnik (lower body), Travis Hamonic (lower body)


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Alex Galchenyuk -- Jared McCann -- Brandon Tanev

Dominik Kahun -- Dominik Simon -- Patric Hornqvist

Zach Aston-Reese -- Teddy Blueger -- Sam Lafferty

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Jack Johnson -- John Marino

Marcus Pettersson -- Zach Trotman

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Juuso Riikola, Chad Ruhwedel

Injured: Sidney Crosby (core muscle surgery), Nick Bjugstad (lower body), Justin Schultz (lower body)


Status report

Brodie, who was activated off injured reserve, skated on a defense pair with Giordano during morning skate. The Flames assigned defenseman Brandon Davidson to Stockton of the American Hockey League. ... The Penguins did not hold a morning skate.


Stat pack

Lucic needs two goals to reach 200 in the NHL. He has not scored in 24 games this season, his first with the Flames. ... Guentzel and Rust each has three goals and three assists during a four-game point streak.

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