BUFFALO — The Pittsburgh Penguins might be getting their top defenseman back when they face Buffalo tonight at KeyBank Center.
Kris Letang, who sat out their 6-5 overtime loss to Boston Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena because of illness, accompanied his teammates to Buffalo and will be a game-time decision when they face the Sabres at 7:38 p.m., coach Mike Sullivan said.
Letang, who entered the arena with a group of teammates shortly after 5 o’clock, has no goals and four assists in nine games this season.
Sullivan said that Letang will be cleared to dress for the game if he can show “that he’s healthy.”
The Penguins, who are 4-4-2 after going 0-4-1 in their past five games, will be without centers Jeff Carter, who has an unspecified lower-body injury, and Teddy Blueger, who is eligible to come off the Long Term Injured list Saturday.
Casey DeSmith will start in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Sullivan suggested the Sabres’ offense has the potential to make it a challenging evening for him.
“They’re a real emerging team,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of skill, a lot of talent up front. They play a style of play where, maybe the most dangerous part of their game is their transition game. They have some young defensemen who can really transition the puck and like to join the attack.
“They’re not a team that likes to dump the puck. They have a real low dump-in rate. They want to make plays off the rush. We’re going to have to make sure that our transition to defense is fast and efficient. Those first five strides to get on the right side of people, I think is really going to be important. And we’re going to have to make sure that we track hard when the puck turns over.”