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Defenseman Gill set to return for Penguins

• Defenseman Hal Gill will play tonight against Boston at Mellon Arena, his first game since Dec. 6, when his left shoulder was injured in a loss at Ottawa. Gill has missed 10 consecutive games.

• Coach Michel Therrien could not update the status of defenseman Kris Letang and center Mike Zigomanis, neither of whom practiced yesterday due to undisclosed injuries. Letang has not played since Dec. 22, a span of three games. Zigomanis has missed 12 consecutive contests dating to Dec. 3.

• Forward Jeff Taffe, one of many players recalled from AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this month due to injuries, was named AHL Player of the Week for the period ending yesterday. In three AHL games last week, Taffe scored twice and recorded seven assists for nine points as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won every game in regulation. Those contests came after Taffe appeared in two games with the Penguins before the Christmas break.

• The Penguins welcomed about 2,000 area amateur hockey players to watch practice at Mellon Arena yesterday. That outreach coincided with the opening of the club's holiday youth power skating camp. Local youth hockey participation has increased significantly over the past two years, according to the Pittsburgh Amateur Hockey League. Registration for mites (8-and-under) is up 57 percent and for squirts (9-10) at 26 percent.

Digits

34 — Multiple point games recorded by Evgeni Malkin since Sidney Crosby's right high ankle sprain injury on Jan. 18 (72 games)

35 — Multiple point games recorded by Malkin prior to Crosby's injury last season (114 games)

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