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BREAKING: Evgeni Malkin returns to action tonight

Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, who has missed 17 games this season, will return to action tonight. (USA Today)

By Allan Muir

Good news tonight in Pittsburgh -- and bad news for the rest of the league.

Local media are reporting that Evgeni Malkin will check back into the lineup for tonight's home game against the Buffalo Sabres. The reigning Hart Trophy winner has missed 17 games this season, including the last four with a lingering upper body injury.

Other sources say that Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang also are set to play. Fleury missed the last game in Ottawa to stay by the side of his pregnant wife. Letang missed the trip with food poisoning.

There's no word yet on possible return dates for the players remaining on the sidelines, including Sidney Crosby, James Neal and Paul Martin.

The Pens are currently on a seven-game winning streak that already has seen them clinch the top seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs.

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