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Malkin skates with Pens, eyes Friday return

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin skated with his teammates on Tuesday morning and is hopeful he can return to the lineup later this week.

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The reigning NHL MVP has missed Pittsburgh's last five games with an undisclosed upper body injury. He worked out by himself then joined the rest of the Penguins for a morning skate though he was ruled out for Tuesday night's game against Washington.

Malkin says he feels pretty good. He called skating with the rest of the team the next step in his rehab. He said it's been difficult to watch but is pleased with what he's seen from Pittsburgh, which has won nine straight.

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

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