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Zucker, Letang Injured in 3rd Period of Penguins Win

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Pittsburgh Penguins Jason Zucker injury

The injury specter which has hung over the Pittsburgh Penguins again this season may have struck again. Penguins winger Jason Zucker twisted awkwardly into the boards in the middle of the third period and grimaced in pain. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang didn’t suffer such an immediately obvious injury, but he too left the Penguins bench and didn’t play for most of the final 10 minutes of the Penguins 3-2 OT win over the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.

Zucker suffered a scary injury and laid on the ice for a couple of minutes. He had to be helped off the ice and to the Penguins locker room.

Zucker was losing his footing but clipped Washington defenseman Nick Jensen, which exacerbated his fall.

This season, Jason Zucker has seven points (4g, 3a) in 17 games. He has been Evgeni Malkin’s LW since training camp. Penguins winger Zach Aston-Reese elevated to take Zucker’s spot.

Head coach Mike Sullivan did not have an update on Zucker after the game, other than to confirm he was being evaluated.

“He’s a popular guy. He’s a real good person, a great teammate, and totally invested in the Pittsburgh Penguins,” Sullivan said. “Anytime a teammate like that goes down, there’s obvious concern from everybody because we all care about him.

Kris Letang

The Pittsbugh Penguins played several games this season without enough healthy left-side defensemen, so Chad Ruhwedel had to play on his off-hand for several games after John Marino had to do the same. However, over the past week, the Penguins had enough healthy defensemen for a balanced blueline with NHL regulars.

That may be in jeopardy again. Sullivan was asked why Letang and P.O. Joseph did not play in the second half of the third period. Sullivan admitted Letang left the bench midway through the third period with an injury.

Letang, 33, assisted on Evgeni Malkin’s first-period goal and scored two goals on Sunday during Sidney Crosby’s 1000th NHL game. The Penguins’ top-pair defenseman averages over 24 minutes per game.

PHN reviewed the third period but could not find a specific instance or noticeable moment in which Letang may have been injured.

Update: Kris Letang returned for overtime. PHN will update Letang’s status as the Penguins provide additional information.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Anne Kaplon
Anne Kaplon
4 days ago

Letang played in overtime. So he came back.

J.T. Nelson
J.T. Nelson
4 days ago

Hopefully Zucker’s injury isn’t as bad as it looked. If he is out long term, I’m not sure his replacement is in house. McCann can be a stop gap but I don’t see him as a full time replacement. We’ll see. With the emergence of PO and guys like Ceci and MM playing well it makes guys like Dumo and Petts and to a lesser extent Rikkola expendable. I’d package one of them with Poulin and a late pick for Forsberg if he’s available. I’d also see what Calgary wants for Bennett who could be the gritty bottom six center… Read more »

Ether
Ether
4 days ago
Reply to  J.T. Nelson

Where you gonna get the money to make this work–cause you aren’t sending out salary and you would be bringing back a bunch (I think Arvid makes 4 million alone)–not to mention I don’t think Bennett sees himself as bottom 6. Maybe one, maybe the other–no way both, doubt either. And Rikkola may prove a better option this season now that PO has come down to earth. PO might need a few games in the press box to study–will almost certainly get that chance once Dumoulin returns.

D1VE is Dumb
D1VE is Dumb
4 days ago
Reply to  J.T. Nelson

In what world do you live in where Dumo is “expendable?” He is the Penguins best defender by a country mile. I would absolutely like to see Pettersson traded just to free up cap space but I wouldn’t include Poulin to do it.

J.T. Nelson
J.T. Nelson
4 days ago
Reply to  D1VE is Dumb

POJ makes either of them expendable and at a fraction of the cost. I prefer moving Petterson but Dumo has more market value. You can’t get something for nothing and the cupboards are pretty bare. If Zuck is out long term and they want to win now…..something has to give.

D1VE is Dumb
D1VE is Dumb
3 days ago
Reply to  J.T. Nelson

POJ will be lucky to be in the lineup when Dumo returns. Dumo isn’t going anywhere unless they decide to blow it up and go full rebuild.

concerned hockey fan
concerned hockey fan
4 days ago

weird injury zucker appears to be out of control and crashed into the boards- hoping he doesn’t need knee surgery

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