Kris Letang’s workload at practice continues to grow.
During Wednesday’s practice session at Southpointe, Letang skated alongside defenseman Rob Scuderi and worked with Paul Martin on the team’s top power-play unit.
“I felt pretty good today,” said Letang, who has been out with a lower-body injury since Sept. 27. “The main concern with the injury was to feel 100 percent, make sure I don’t take any chances coming back with an injury.”
Although his workload is increasing, head coach Dan Bylsma said that isn’t an indication that he will return to the ice.
“With these days of practice, an opportunity to move him into a different area, different pair and put him in some power-play situations,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “That’s good for his progression.”
There is no return date set for Letang.
Looking ahead to the schedule the Penguins have back-to-back games on Friday against the New York Islanders and Saturday at Toronto. Letang said if he is healthy and ready to play, he has no worries about appearing in back-to-back games.
“I don’t think so,” Letang said. “I’m just looking at the first game. I’ve been through injuries. I’ve been through back-to-backs. I don’t think it will be an issue.”
ODDS AND ENDS
*Penguins forward Matt D’Agostini is back to full practice, but cannot be removed from IR until Saturday.
*The Penguins have not made a decision on whether or not to keep defenseman Olli Maatta with Pittsburgh or return him to his junior team in London of the Ontario Hockey League. The team must decide before Friday’s game.
“We’re well aware that Olli Maatta has played his ninth game and the next one would be his 10th,” Bylsma said. “We have not made a decision yet on that situation for our team.”
(More in-depth look at the Maatta decision here).
CONNER AND HARRY Z DOWN
The Penguins re-assigned forwards Chris Conner and Harry Zolnierczyk to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.
The Penguins used the following lineup sets at Wednesday’s practice…