Kris Letang played nearly 25 minutes against the Dallas Stars on Saturday but according to Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan Letang will miss the Penguins game tonight in New York with an upper-body injury.
It isn’t known when Letang suffered the injury or if it is a reaggravation of his recent upper-body ailment which caused him to miss 11 games and most of the Stadium Series game on Feb. 23.
“I’m not going to elaborate on injuries at this time,” Sullivan said as he declined to specify if the injury was tied to his previous ailment.
Letang has been a driver of the Penguins offense and power play this season. In 63 games, the defenseman has 56 points (16g, 36a). His name was on the periphery of the Norris Trophy conversation for much the season until his injury on Feb. 23 caused him significant time. The Penguins did not provide additional information.
Zach Trotman will again slot into the Penguins defensive pairings, most likely beside Brian Dumoulin as he did during Letang’s most recent absence. Trotman, 28, had one assist in 11 games and received high marks from the Penguins coaching staff.
“(Trotman) has played extremely well for us. We have some depth at the defense position right now. That’s one of the strengths of our team,” Sullivan said.
*Editors Note: The original story listed Letang’s ice time at nearly 23 minutes. It should have been nearly 25 minutes.
Sullivan also said defenseman Olli Maatta has not yet been cleared to return. Maatta’s availability could present difficult decisions for the Penguins coaches regarding Maatta’s use or non-usage.
Also, the same sources which helped Pittsburgh Hockey Now break the news that Evgeni Malkin skated Saturday morning in full gear also informed PHN that Malkin skated again Sunday morning.
However, sources could not confirm that Malkin played with the puck or took shots.