Forward Patric Hornqvist returned to practice Thursday afternoon, his first since suffering an injury from a hit by Vancouver’s Ryan Stanton when the Penguins hosted the Canucks on Dec. 4.
Hornqvist, who missed the past two games due to the injury, will be a game-time decision Friday when the Penguins host the Calgary Flames.
“I feel good,” Hornqvist said. “It’s nice to be out on the ice with the boys. And getting close to being ready for the game.”
Hornqvist said he feels “ready to go. Now I’m on the ice practicing with all my teammates. I feel good so it will be a game-time decision.”
Defenseman Kris Letang (groin) completed his second full-contact practice Thursday and is very close to returning to the lineup.
“That’s going to be up to the coaches and doctors,” Letang said when asked if he’ll play Friday.
Letang has been testing his range of motion on the ice and testing for pain as he pushes off his leg.
“If I’m feeling well, have no pain and can push all the way through, that’s when you can judge if you’re ready or not,” Letang said.
The Pens were missing forwards Sidney Crosby (illness), Chris Kunitz (foot) and Scott Wilson (leg) and defenseman Olli Maatta (upper-body) from practice.
“(Crosby) was sick today so he wasn’t as practice; we’ll see tomorrow,” head coach Mike Johnston said.
“(Maatta) will not be playing this week, he’s still going through more tests to determine where he’s at.
“Chris Kunitz tried skating briefly, but still will not be skating with the team right now. He’s progressing slowly. Beau Bennett is in a similar situation.”
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