Penguins Defense Depleted; Jeff Petry, Jan Rutta Leave Game
Hours after the Pittsburgh Penguins revealed the longer-term nature of one defenseman’s injury, two more blueliners left during their 6-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins played most of the third period with just four defensemen — Kris Letang, P.O Joseph, Brian Dumoulin and Marcus Pettersson — after Jeff Petry did not come out for the third period and Jan Rutta left at 4:06 of the third after taking a shot off what appeared to b the inside of his left knee.
Rutta favored his left leg as he was helped off the ice and to the dressing room. It’s not clear what happened to Petry. Coach Mike Sullivan said postgame that he did not have an update and that both were still being evaluated. He did not go as far as offering an upper-body/lower-body designation.
Earlier Tuesday, Sullivan divulged that newly acquired defenseman Dmitry Kulikov will be out week to week because of a lower-body injury. Kulikov left Sunday’s win over the New York Rangers.
Joseph got back into the lineup Tuesday in Kulikov’s spot. The Pittsburgh Penguins are carrying one more defenseman, Chad Ruhwedel, who was a healthy scratch Tuesday, but would need a sixth before Thursday’s game against the Rangers in New York. If Petry and/or Rutta are out, the team would probably look at an emergency recall of Ty Smith or Mark Friedman from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The Penguins have canceled a practice previously scheduled for Wednesday, so it’s not clear how soon there will be updates on the state of the defense.