PITTSBURGH – All-Stars Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin will return to the Pittsburgh Penguins' lineup against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday at Consol Energy Center.
After missing the first nine games of the season with a lower-body injury, Letang was sidelined for an additional 10 games after sustaining an upper-body injury against the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 13.
"I told him [coach Dan Bylsma] I felt good," Letang said after Pittsburgh's Saturday practice. "It's the coach's decision. Every time you practice, you become more confident out there and more comfortable.
Despite participating in Pittsburgh's Friday morning skate, Letang was ruled out for its game against the New York Rangers. He returned to his pairing with Rob Scuderi and his position on the top power-play unit during practice on Saturday at Consol Energy Center.
After being considered a game-time decision earlier in the day, star center Evgeni Malkin will also return to the lineup Sunday afternoon after missing nine games with an injury. Malkin has been out since hurting his left leg Dec. 14 against the Detroit Red Wings.
Malkin collected a goal and two assists against Detroit before falling awkwardly into the boards and appeared to favor his leg after the collision. Despite missing three weeks, Malkin still ranks fifth in the NHL with 32 assists and 16th with 41 points.
Here are the projected lineups for the Jets and Penguins:
James Neal – Sidney Crosby – Chris Kunitz
Jussi Jokinen – Evgeni Malkin – Brian Gibbons
Taylor Pyatt – Brandon Sutter – Craig Adams
Tanner Glass – Joe Vitale – Deryk Engelland
Rob Scuderi – Kris Letang
Brooks Orpik – Simon Despres
Olli Maatta – Matt Niskanen
Injured: Andrew Ebbett (ankle), Beau Bennett (wrist), Paul Martin (leg), Chris Conner (hand), Pascal Dupuis (knee), Jayson Megna (lower body), Tomas Vokoun (pelvis)
Scratched: Chuck Kobasew, Robert Bortuzzo, Zach Sill
Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane – Mark Scheifele – Michael Frolik
Chris Thorburn – Olli Jokinen – Devin Setoguchi
Eric Tangradi – James Wright – Anthony Peluso
Dustin Byfuglien – Keaton Ellerby
Jacob Trouba – Tobias Enstrom
Mark Stuart – Zach Bogosian
Injured: Paul Postma (leg), Matt Halischuk (arm), Jim Slater (hernia), Grant Clitsome (back)
Scratched: Eric O'Dell, Adam Pardy