Penguins might get Hornqvist, Letang back this week

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have been battered by injuries lately, but there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Forward Patric Hornqvist (head) and defenseman Kris Letang (groin) are projected to participate in Thursday’s practice. If all goes well, they could both return on Friday against Calgary or Saturday versus Columbus.

Hornqvist has missed two contests following a helmet-on-helmet collision, but Penguins coach Mike Johnston hasn’t confirmed or denied the possibility that the 27-year-old winger has a concussion.

“He did skate on his own, going through some exercises,” Johnston told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He seems to be fine. It’s a matter of just making sure that he can go through practice like we do with everybody else.”

Letang skated with the Penguins on Tuesday and described it as the “most intense workout I’ve had so far.” Even still, he’s erring on the side of caution to avoid the kind of setbacks that have cost him games in the past.

The Penguins are a commanding 18-6-3 this season, but they’ve slowed lately with a 3-2-1 record over their last six games.