When the Pittsburgh Penguins take the ice Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, they will welcome back a familiar face.
After missing the past six games, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma announce Thursday afternoon that defenseman Kris Letang will return to the Pens lineup.
Letang is averaging a point per game with 28 points in 28 games played, but has been out since March 26th with a broken toe and a groin injury that has been nagging him since February.
While it is clear that Letang will be back on the ice tonight, what’s not as clear is who he will be paired with.
When everyone is healthy, the logical combinations would be Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin, Letang and Mark Eaton, and Douglas Murray and Matt Niskanen. But with Martin out of the lineup for the remainder of the regular season, Eaton has been skating with Orpik. It will be curious to see how Bylsma shuffles things around with Letang back in uniform.
Letang being back on the ice will be a welcome sight, as hopefully he is the first of several Pens to come back from injury, with Martin, Sidney Crosby and James Neal still on the shelf.
In other news for tonight’s matchup, Tomas Vokoun will get the start in net against the Lightning.