Malkin likely ready for Flyers

Evgeni Malkin, who has eight goals, missed the Penguins' last four games with a knee injury. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

    Evgeni Malkin returned to Pittsburgh's practice Monday and could return to the sizzling Penguins' lineup Tuesday when they face the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.

   Malkin (8 goals), who has missed the last four games with a knee injury, replaced the injured Chris Kunitz on a line with Sidney Crosby (26 goals) and Pascal Dupuis at the Pens' practice.

   The Flyers will be trying to end Pittsburgh's 12-game winning streak. The Penguins have a league-high 44 points.

   "Pittsburgh's won 12 in a row and we want to put a stop to it _ and reclaim tops in our division," center Danny Briere said after Monday's practice in Voorhees.  

    Coach Peter Laviolette is undecided about whether he will use Brian Boucher or Sergei Bobrovsky as his goalie on Tuesday.

    "It's way better than the other way around _ if both guys were struggling. We know both guys can do the job and are playing well and feeling comfortable," Briere said.

   Nik Zherdev replaced Jody Shelley on the fourth line during Monday's practice. Shelley was suspended by the NHL for two games Monday because of a hit from behind on Boston's Adam McQuaid on Saturday.

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     Michael Leighton returned to practice Monday with the Flyers, who are expected to carry three goalies for a while. Leighton, who played solidly in two games with the Phantoms over the weekend, is on the verge of coming off the injured-reserve list.

    Defenseman Matt Walker, who was injured during Sunday's Phantoms' game in Hartford, will probably go on the injured-reserve list to make room for Leighton. Leighton will be examined by Dr. Alex Vacarro on Tuesday and could be added to the roster.

    There is also a chance the Flyers will put Ian Laperriere on the LTIR list to open cap space for Leighton.

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    Laviolette missed Monday's practice to attend the funeral of his wife's grandfather.

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