Two-time Cup winner Sydor to play in first game since March 31

PITTSBURGH -- The last time Darryl Sydor played in meaningful NHL action was March 31 against the New York Rangers, about a week before the start of the playoffs.

On Wednesday night, after almost two months of practicing and waiting, Sydor will return to the Pittsburgh Penguins' lineup in what amounts to a must-win Game 3 for the Penguins, who trail the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 in the Stanley Cup finals.

The two-time Stanley Cup champion defenseman will come into the lineup in place of rookie blueliner Kris Letang, who has struggled in the series. Letang was beaten by Valtteri Filppula on the third goal in Game 2 and Penguins coach Michel Therrien said Wednesday morning he wanted more experience in the lineup.

Therrien said Sydor, who turned 36 on May 13, has maintained a good attitude throughout the time he's been a healthy scratch. "I'm excited for him," Therrien said.

As for the inevitable rust, Therrien said Sydor will have to make sure he plays a very simple game and doesn't try to do too much.

Sydor had a goal and 12 assists in 74 games over the regular season. He won two Stanley Cups over his career, the first with Dallas in 1999 and the other with Tampa Bay in 2004.

Scott Burnside is the NHL writer for ESPN.com