Kris Letang D PIT 3 Months

Kris Letang seems to have found his game.

Letang, who missed considerable time this season due to a stroke, is playing some pretty effective hockey as of late. He has replaced Paul Martin on the Pens' first power-play unit and seems to be getting back to his old self. Letang's performance will be key to the Penguins' fortunes against a tough Rangers' squad. We like the direction his game is going.

Kris Letang D PIT 3 Months

Kris Letang's empty netter sealed the win for the Penguins on Saturday.

It was Letang's first goal of the playoffs. He has had multiple injuries this season and suffered a stroke as well so it's certainly nice for Penguin fans to see him back on the ice and contributing.

Kris Letang D PIT 3 Months

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang made a mistake and hurt his team by slashing Blue Jackets rookie Boone Jenner in response to a hit late in the second period Wednesday in the opener of their first-round playoff series.

So Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylma confined Letang to the bench for nearly eight minutes after the expiration of his penalty. The Blue Jackets did not score on that power play, but Letang had two penalties, no shots and a minus-1 rating in the game. He also had a turnover that led to a short-handed goal by Derek MacKenzie that gave the Jackets a 3-1 lead earlier in the second period. The Penguins came back to win 4-3. "I think going into a series, there are certain players that you're looking to put a dent on and go after and forecheck and be physical on," Bylsma said. "Kris is one of those guys for our team. ... I didn't like the response from Kris. I think he got a message, whether it was . not playing or a nice talk. He got a message." Another might have been sent Friday, when Letang was demoted to the second power-play unit during practice. He was put on a pair with defenseman Paul Martin while Matt Niskanen and Evgeni Malkin worked the points with the first unit.

Kris Letang D PIT 3 Months

Kris Letang (stroke) logged 22:30 minutes in his return on Wednesday.

So much for easing Letang back into the lineup. He didn't mind the playing time though. "I felt pretty good," said Letang. "I had a lot of fun. It wasn't perfect structure-wise for me. I'm just happy to be on the ice. It's something I missed a lot. I'm glad to play with this bunch of guys in this dressing room. It was fun to be a part of." Letang's doctors feel that playing hockey won't increase his risk of a having another stroke, so as long as he feels up to it, the Penguins don't have to be careful with his workload.

Kris Letang D PIT 4 Months

Kris Letang (stroke) will return to the Penguins' lineup on Wednesday.

Letang has been practicing for about a month now. He hasn't played since Jan. 27 after suffering a stroke and the fact that he's returning before the end of the regular season is remarkable. It wouldn't be surprising if his playing time is initially limited as the team looks to get him back into the swing of things before the playoffs start.

Kris Letang D PIT 4 Months

Kris Letang (stroke) did some penalty killing work in Thursday's morning skate.

He has been skating regularly with his teammates, but it's unclear if he'll be available to play this year after he had a stroke in January.

Kris Letang D PIT 4 Months

Kris Letang (stroke) still has no timetable for his return.

Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said that he chatted with Letang a few days ago and Letang said that he has good days and bad days. "I can be really dizzy," Letang said about his bad days. "Sometimes I have trouble walking, like, in a straight line. ... I have some vision things. Lights would bother me, stuff like that." It does not look good for the defenseman to return this season as the Penguins will not take any chances with their best offensive defenseman.

Kris Letang D PIT 4 Months

Kris Letang got back on the ice for practice Monday less than two months after having a stroke.

He fully intends to play again this season after that outlook appeared to be cloudy. "There's no doubt in my mind [his goal is to return his season]," Letang said. "Even the day I got the stroke, I asked the doctor when I'm going to be able to play again. So there's no doubt about it. If I'm on the ice today, it's because I want to return." Letang has been limited to 34 games this season over which he has produced 10 goals and eight assists.

Kris Letang D PIT 4 Months

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that defenseman Kris Letang will practice with the team on Monday.

Considering that his issues stem from a stroke, it's anyone's guess how long it will take for him to make his return or play at 100 percent. No doubt about it, he could make a huge impact if he plays even close to his capabilities, however.

Kris Letang D PIT 5 Months

Kris Letang has finally been placed on the injured reserve list.

Letang hasn't played since Jan. 27 because he suffered a stroke. There's no timetable for his return.