NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is expected to start Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his return from a hip injury that has limited him to only nine games this season.
The Predators recalled Rinne from a two-game conditioning assignment Monday and announced that he would start the Penguins game. Rinne, who hasn't played in an NHL game since Oct. 22, stopped 33 of 35 shots for a .946 save percentage during his two-game stint with the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.
Rinne, a two-time Vezina Trophy finalist, has been recovering from an E. coli infection in his surgically repaired left hip. In his last five games before the injury, Rinne went 3-1-1 with a 1.60 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage.
The 31-year-old Rinne is returning as the Predators make a late-season bid for one of the Western Conference's eight playoff spots. The Predators are 12th in the Western Conference standings with 62 points. The Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks are tied for eighth with 66 points.
The Predators also placed goaltender Devan Dubnyk on waivers Monday. The 27-year-old Dubnyk has played 32 games for the Edmonton Oilers and two games with the Predators this season.
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