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Better late than never? Kulikov ready to return

Dmitry Kulikov made it into all of three games and part of a fourth after the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired him from Anaheim at the NHL trade deadline.

That was enough to log 50 minutes, 39 seconds of ice time, during which Kulikov was credited with one assist, six hits and four blocked shots.

Perhaps it even gave him a chance to get on a first-name basis with most of his teammates, and to begin to get comfortable with coach Mike Sullivan’s systems.

But was it enough to prepare Kulikov, who hasn’t played since being injured against the New York Rangers March 12, to step into a high-stakes situation with a team battling to earn a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

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