The Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday recalled defenseman P.O. Joseph from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on the heels of the news that defenseman Mike Matheson is expected to miss significant time because of an injury.
Matheson was something of a surprise absentee from practice Friday. Little-used Mark Friedman stepped into Matheson’s spot alongside Chad Ruhwedel on the third pairing for practice, meaning he might be the top choice to play Saturday when the New York Rangers visit PPG Paints Arena.
Matheson, coach Mike Sullivan said, is expected to be out on a week to week basis because of an upper body injury.
Joseph, who has played in four games this season after appearing in his first 16 games last season, gives the Penguins options. He is a left-handed shot, while Friedman shoots right. It’s also possible Joseph, at least for now, is being added as insurance as a seventh defenseman.
Here is the news release from the Penguins:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled defenseman P.O Joseph from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by general manager Ron Hextall.
Joseph, 22, has split this season between Pittsburgh and the WBS Penguins, appearing in four games in the NHL and 40 games in the AHL. With WBS, Joseph’s career-high eight goals, 20 assists and 28 points lead all team defensemen, while his point total ranks third on the team.
In 20 career NHL games, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound defenseman has recorded one goal, four assists and five points since 2021. With the WBS Penguins, Joseph has accumulated 58 points (12G-46A) in 115 games since turning pro in the 2019-20 season.
The Penguins return to action on Saturday afternoon with their first matchup of the season against the Rangers at PPG Paints Arena. Puck drop is set for 3:00 PM.