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Pens’ LeTang activated off IR

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Sabres Stars Hockey

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power, left

PITTSBURGH — The Penguins activated veteran defenseman Kris Letang off injured reserve, clearing the way for him to play Tuesday night against Florida.

The 35-year-old Letang has been out since sustaining a lower-body injury during an overtime loss to Detroit on Dec. 28. He spent time in his native Montreal during his absence following the death of his father earlier this month.

It’s been a difficult season for Letang, who signed a six-year contract extension with the Penguins over the summer and has two goals and 14 assists in 29 games. Letang missed two weeks in November and December after suffering a stroke for the second time in eight years.

Pittsburgh is hoping his return can provide a boost. The Penguins, who have reached the playoffs 16 straight seasons — the longest active postseason streak in major North American team sports — entered Tuesday in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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Also Tuesday, the Penguins placed defenseman Jan Rutta on long-term injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 14 and put forward Kasperi Kapanen on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 18.

BRIEFLY

ALL-STAR: The NHL All-Star Skills Competition is set to feature two new outdoor events in South Florida: a mix of hockey and golf and a dunk tank on the beach. The All-Star Weekend is Feb. 3-4, and will be held in Sunrise and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

— Associated Press

8 Dallas Stars rookie Owen Power scored the game-winning goal in overtime Monday, beating Buffalo goaltender Craig Anderson to secure a 4-3 victory. Anderson, who made his 700th career appearance Monday, debuted in the league on Nov. 30, 2002 — when Power was just eight days old.

— Associated Press

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