It’s official: Letang will also return for Pittsburgh tonight


Should be quite the evening at the most famous arena in the world.

According to various reports, the Pittsburgh Penguins will welcome back defenseman Kris Letang to the lineup on Thursday as they face the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Letang’s return will coincide with the comeback of Sidney Crosby, who has been out since Dec. 5 with concussion symptoms.

Letang’s missed the last five games due to headaches stemming from a hit to the head by Dallas’ Eric Nystrom in late February. It was Letang’s second head injury of the year — in November, he suffered a concussion after getting hit by Montreal’s Max Pacioretty and was out of the lineup until January.

While the returns are great for the Penguins, they do present a conundrum for head coach Dan Bylsma when it comes to allotting minutes. Bylsma’s on record saying Crosby will be held to “around 15” in his first game back, but limiting Letang is tricky. He’ll be paired with usual defense partner Paul Martin — who averages 23 minutes a night — and when healthy, Letang has been a 25-plus guy.

Of note, Thursday’s game will be just the fifth this season that the Penguins will have Crosby, Letang and Evgeni Malkin in the lineup.