Pens' Malkin returns to practice; not game ready

Pittsburgh Penguins star center Evgeni Malkin returned to practice Tuesday, but will not play when the Washington Capitals visit the Consol Energy Center.

The Penguins will also be without defenseman Kris Letang, who missed Tuesday's practice because of a lower body injury he suffered during Sunday's game against Boston.

Malkin has been sidelined with an upper body injury he sustained in a March 9 game against Toronto. It is unrelated to the concussion that kept him out of four games in late February and early March.

The reigning Hart Trophy winner as league MVP could play Friday when the Penguins visit the New York Islanders.

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

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

Letang is the NHL's leading scorer among defensemen with 28 points in 27 games.