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Penguins Activate Olli Maatta from IR; Game-Time Decision



CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, PA – SEPTEMBER 13: Olli Maatta poses for his official headshot for the 2018-2019 season on September 13, 2018 at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins activated defenseman Olli Maatta two hours before their game against the Nashville Predators at PPG Paints Arena. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford made the announcement.

Maatta has been out since he suffered an upper-body injury against the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 11. Maatta worked on the left side in practice Thursday with Brian Dumoulin, who switched to his backhand to play on the right.

Maatta, 24, has been a staple within the Penguins top-four defensemen this season. He was paired with Juuso Riikola until his injury. Riikola has since been sent to the Penguins AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

This season Maatta has 13 points (1g, 12a) in 55 games. Last season the Jyväskylä, Finland native tied a career-high with 29 points (7g, 22a). After the morning skate Friday, Maatta said he was looking forward to getting into the lineup, “There’s only so much you can do in practice,” Maatta said.

Maatta is a game-time decision per head coach Mike Sullivan but all indications are Maatta will play Friday night. Get the Penguins-Predators game preview on Pittsburgh Hockey Now here.