The Pittsburgh Penguins hobbled and depleted defensive core took a step towards full strength, Monday. According to the team, Kris Letang and Olli Maatta skated on their own before practice for the first time since injuries knocked them out of the lineup.
Top left-side defender Brian Dumoulin, who suffered a concussion when then-Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds plowed upwards and through him in the first period the Stadium Series game nine days ago, participated in practice but in a non-contact jersey.
Simmonds was traded to Nashville at the trade deadline. The Penguins face Nashville twice in eight days on March 21 and March 29.
Letang was injured during the melee which followed Simmonds hit on Dumoulin. As the scrum began, Philadelphia defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere tackled Letang and landed atop of the Penguins defenseman.
Letang has garnered Norris Trophy consideration this season with 53 points (15g, 38a) in 60 games.
Olli Maatta was injured when he fell awkwardly along the boards after being checked on Feb. 11. The injury also occurred during a game with Philadelphia. He was placed on IR and labeled “out indefinitely” the following day.
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Also at practice, the Penguins kept the same lines and pairings which they employed when they beat Montreal, Saturday night.
— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) March 4, 2019