Pens' Malkin returns to practice; aiming for Friday return Staff

3/19/2013 2:44:18 PM

The Pittsburgh Penguins had a familiar face back on the ice Tuesday morning, as centre Evgeni Malkin skated with the team.

Malkin suffered an upper-body injury a week and a half ago after taking a hit from James van Riemsdyk in the third period of their shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Malkin, who missed four games with a concussion late last month, had just returned to the lineup.

"I feel good, practicing with the team the first time," Malkin said Tuesday. "I feel pretty good. Just the next step to getting healthy."

Malkin will not play Tuesday night when the Penguins play host to the Washington Capitals but is hopeful to play Friday on Long Island.

In 21 games this season, Malkin has five goals and 19 assists for 24 points.

The Penguins will also be without defenceman Kris Letang on Tuesday. Letang is day-to-day with a lower body injury

Pittsburgh sits first in the Eastern Conference, with a two-point cushion on the Montreal Canadeins.