The Pittsburgh Penguins injury woes may have worsened on Wednesday night as top-six winger Kasperi Kapanen left the game in the second period and did not return.
After a shift about one minute into the second period, Kapanen could be seen flexing his knee and limping in the tunnel. According to the NBCsn broadcast, Kapanen also laid down, face first. He stayed in the game and took a few more shifts. Later in the period, he left for good.
Here is the play. Kapanen is along the wall, and Buffalo Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour slammed the clearing attempt around the wall. Kapanen attempted to play it but was felled by it.
According to head coach Mike Sullivan, Kapanen is being evaluated for a lower-body injury, and the Penguins expected an update on Thursday.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now reporter Dan Kingerski noticed Kapanen hobbling up and down through the tunnel during the game.
Kasperi Kapanen is limping around the tunnel. It appears he’s staying, but in pain.
— Dan Kingerski 🇺🇦 (@TheDanKingerski) March 25, 2021
Kapanen left the game at 8:31 of the second period.
Kapanen has been streaky for the Penguins this season. Immigration issues from Finland delayed his arrival, but he burst into the Penguins lineup with immediate offensive production.
However, he has also slumped this season, and head coach Mike Sullivan benched Kapanen in mid-February.
This season, Kasperi Kapanen has 21 points (7g, 14a) in 30 games and developed chemistry with Penguins center Evgeni Malkin. their recent hot-streak ended when Malkin was injured last week against Boston.
The Pittsburgh Penguins injury list is lengthy:
Position, Player (Consecutive Games Missed, Total Games Missed)
F Jason Zucker (16 consecutive, 16 total)
D Mark Friedman (11 consecutive, 11 total)
F Teddy Blueger (5 consecutive, 5 total)
F Evgeni Malkin (4 consecutive, 4 total)
F Brandon Tanev (3 consecutive, 3 total)
2020-21 Total Regular-Season Man-Games Lost: 175
The Penguins are awaiting Brandon Tanev’s return to the lineup. He is listed as day-to-day. Currently, the Penguins have an eight-point lead on the Philadelphia Flyers for the final playoff spot in the East Division, but Philadelphia has two games in hand.
The Penguins host the Buffalo Sabres again on Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena.