Letang expects to play big minutes in season debut

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After sitting out the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first nine games with a lower-body injury, it appears that Kris Letang will make his 2013-14 season debut against the New York Islanders Friday. NHL.com reports that he won’t just ease into the lineup, as he’s expected to be on Pittsburgh’s top even-strength and power-play pairings.

Letang notes that Rob Scuderi’s stay-at-home style should balance out his more aggressive, attacking offensive instincts.

The Penguins haven’t exactly fallen apart without their 26-year-old star blueliner, as they easily lead the woeful Metropolitan Division with a 7-2-0 (14 points) mark. That doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy having his dangerous offensive skill set back, though.

It might already be too late for Letang to lead defensemen in scoring, however. P.K. Subban has a heck of a head start, with 11 points in 10 games so far.