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Malkin back on the ice for Penguins

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AFP) –

Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins waits for a face-off on February 10, 2013 in Pittsburgh

Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins waits for a face-off on February 10, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Russian playmaker Malkin returned to the active lineup for the Penguins on Monday after suffering a concussion in a National Hockey League game last month.

Russian playmaker Evgeni Malkin returned to the active lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday after suffering a concussion in a National Hockey League game last month.

The 26-year-old centre, who won the Hart Trophy last season as the NHL‘s Most Valuable Player, was injured on February 22 after his head slammed into the boards following a check by Florida defenseman Erik Gudbranson.

In 18 games this season, Malkin scored four goals and set up 17 others. The Penguins went 2-2 without him but he passed all concussion tests Sunday with the club halfway into an NHL season shortened by a lockout over money issues.

“Evgeni Malkin was cleared for full contact (Sunday), went through the full practice and in the afternoon he took his ImPACT test and passed,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “He is cleared to play.”

At 14-8, the Penguins lead the NHL Atlantic division by three points over New Jersey and rank third overall in the Eastern Conference behind Boston and Montreal.

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