The Pittsburgh Penguins got one of their best players back in their previous game, and the effect was undeniable.
They could be in line for another boost with the possible return of defenseman Paul Martin on Thursday night against the Flyers in Philadelphia.
The Penguins (15-8-0) went 2-2-0 without Evgeni Malkin after he suffered a concussion from a collision into the boards in a win over Florida on Feb. 22. Malkin experienced short-term memory loss and headaches while he was out but was able to return Monday, tallying a goal and an assist in a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay.
The reigning league MVP has five scores and 18 assists in 19 games for a team that averages 3.5 goals, one of the top marks in the NHL.
"He had guys shaking their heads at how strong he was (in Sunday's practice)," coach Dan Bylsma said of Malkin. "They were pretty amazed at how physical and strong he was on the puck, so to see him come out and play that way and be confident, I'm not real surprised."
Malkin has ca...