By: Chris Gates

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Forwards Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin returned to practice for the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday.

Both were given maintenance days Wednesday and are expected to play tonight at Winnipeg.

“Malkin and Staal returned to the ice and we expect them to play in the game (Friday) night,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.

Staal, in particular, has been dealing with health issues lately. It’s believed he has some type of groin injury, and his status has been listed as day-to-day as of late.

Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland was suspended by the NHL for a hit on Chicago center Marcus Kruger Tuesday night, and therefore will be unavailable tonight. However, Zbynek Michalek could return for the first time since suffering a concussion Nov. 26, filling the void on the blue line.

“As far as the guys not on the ice, there are no updates. No change in status. It’s status quo. Paul Martin is still day to day. Zbynek Michalek was obviously on the ice, he’s still day to day at this point.”

Martin did not practice Thursday.

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