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Penguins' Maatta could return Tuesday vs. Canadiens

NHL.com @NHL

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta practiced Monday and coach Mike Johnston termed him "a game-time decision" for Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

Maatta had surgery Nov. 4 to remove a cancerous tumor from his thyroid gland. He started skating again a week later, but the original prognosis was for Maatta to miss about four weeks. Tuesday will mark two weeks since the procedure.

"I'm feeling good, I am," Maatta said via the Penguins website. "But we've got to (wait and) see until after [Tuesday] morning's skate, how I'm feeling after that. And then make some decisions after.

"Mentally for sure, I want to get out there. It's been a couple weeks since I've played, so yeah, I'm hungry there. But I've got to still take it easy, not rush it. But we'll see tomorrow."

The 20-year-old has one goal and six points in 10 games this season.

Johnston said forward Pascal Dupuis will not make the trip to Montreal. Dupuis went to see the doctor Monday and Johnston said the Penguins would have an update in the next 24-48 hours.

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