Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has circled a game Friday against the Islanders in New York. That's when he's hoping to return from what's believed to be a shoulder injury.

"I hope," Malkin said Tuesday. "I miss hockey. I miss my team. I hope Friday, yes."

Malkin was on the ice for the Penguins' morning skate after working for a half-hour with conditioning coach Mike Kadar, but he did not participate in many of the drills or play Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals at Consol Energy Center.

"I feel pretty good," Malkin said, adding that joining his teammates on the ice for the first time was "just the next step to my recovery."

Malkin missed his sixth game since he got hurt March 9.

Also out of the lineup Tuesday was defenseman Kris Letang, who left a game Sunday against Boston after apparently aggravating a nagging leg problem. Letang was not in the game-day skate and coach Dan Bylsma called him "day-to-day."

Winger Matt Cooke also missed the game-day skate -- presumably related to a painful blocked shot that limited his ice time Sunday against Boston -- but was in the lineup for the Penguins.