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Recovered from concussion, NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin to play against Lightning

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin skates to the dressing room during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Pittsburgh on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Gene J. Puskar

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Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin skates to the dressing room during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Pittsburgh on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Gene J. Puskar

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Pittsburgh Penguins centre Evgeni Malkin will return to the lineup Monday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The league's reigning MVP hasn't played since his concussion after slamming into the end boards in a win over Florida on Feb. 22.

Coach Dan Bylsma says Malkin has passed all the mandatory NHL protocols following a head injury. Malkin says he has not experienced headaches, neck soreness or other symptoms. Malkin adds he did have short-term memory loss the day he was hurt.

Malkin has four goals and 17 assists this season. The Penguins went 2-2 in Malkin's absence. The 26-year-old is to play on the second line with Beau Bennett and James Neal against the Lightning.

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