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Pens Report: 01.25.17

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pens held practice Wednesday afternoon at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry. Here's the scoop on the practice. 

*Forwards Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist were absent from the session. And the news wasn't good.

Malkin will be out of Thursday's game in Boston and the All-Star Game this weekend with a lower-body injury. Hornqvist is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

"(Malkin) will be evaluated after the (All-Star) break and we'll probably have more information at that point," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "We'll see how (Hornqvist) responds after today, but he'll be a day-to-day decision."

*Defenseman Kris Letang (lower-body, 5 games missed) took part in another team practice. There is no update on his possible return to the lineup.

Letang suffered the injury Jan. 14 in Detroit when he fell awkwardly to the ice. Letang left the game immediately, returned shortly for one shift and then left the game for good. He's been out of the lineup ever since.

"If I was able to stand on my leg it wouldn't have been that bad," Letang said of his attempt at returning in that contest. "But it's a significant injury that I've been dealing with."

*Blueliner Brian Dumoulin returned to the Pens' lineup Tuesday night against St. Louis after missing 10 games with a broken jaw. Dumoulin wore a protective shield around his jaw that attached to his helmet.

Despite the clunky headwear, Dumoulin didn't focus on the injury at all during the contest.

"It's tough to think about when you're playing," he said. "I feel that (shield) on my face, but you don't think about (the jaw). I was just trying to get back in the game and take it shift by shift and contribute any way you can."

Dumoulin saw 14:53 minutes of ice while working on the third defensive pairing with Chad Ruhwedel. Sullivan believed that Dumoulin's game improved as the game progressed.
"I thought he was rusty at first at the beginning part of the game, which is to be expected," Sullivan said. "I thought as the game went on he got better. I thought he settled in. I envision him taking on more of a load with each game that he plays because he's got the first game under his belt, an important one for him to take the next step."

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