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Maatta in, Letang out when Penguins visit Kings

by Brian Hunter

PENGUINS (14-8-2) at KINGS (15-8-1)


Season series: Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had two of his NHL-leading 10 shutouts last season against the Los Angeles Kings. Fleury made 36 saves in a 3-0 win at Consol Energy Center on Oct. 30, 2014, and 31 saves in a 1-0 win at Staples Center on March 7, a game decided by forward Patric Hornqvist's unassisted goal 1:44 into overtime. Forward Chris Kunitz scored twice in the first game.

Penguins team scope: Defenseman Olli Maatta, who has missed the past six games with an upper-body injury, will return to the lineup. "It's looking positive now," coach Mike Johnston told the Penguins website Friday. Defenseman Kris Letang didn't skate Friday after leaving practice early Thursday with a lingering injury and will not play. Forward Pascal Dupuis was cleared to play after he sat out the third period of a 5-1 win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday because he wasn't feeling well. Dupuis practiced on a line with Kunitz and captain Sidney Crosby. Forward Evgeni Malkin has at least one goal in four straight games and seven points (five goals, two assists) over that span.

Kings team scope: Forward Trevor Lewis left practice Friday because he was dinged up a bit, coach Darryl Sutter told LA Kings Insider, saying it was too early to tell if Lewis would be in the lineup. Jordan Weal skated in Lewis' place on a line with Dustin Brown and Nick Shore. Sutter didn't name a starting goaltender, but Jonathan Quick was first off the ice. Jhonas Enroth could get a start this weekend with Los Angeles hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. Sutter downplayed the struggles Pittsburgh has had offensively this season. "They're playing a more complete game, and they're coming off scoring five in San Jose and dominating the game, when you look at it," he said. "… We know what we're getting into." The Kings come off consecutive overtime wins, with forward Anze Kopitar scoring one of the decisive goals and assisting on the other by linemate Marian Gaborik.

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